“If it hasn’t been in the hand or the body, then it can’t be in the brain”. The words of Bev Bos world renowned teacher, author and play advocate have never ringed truer in the age of technological toys and stores filled with over stimulating everything. Children learn by touching, smelling, tasting, hearing and seeing. It is intriguing to think” why do we have so many plastic toys surrounding us?” A plastic block has no real “feel” to it, but a tree does. Try it, find a groovy rock and a plastic rock and hold one in each hand…which would you rather hold? Which would you rather explore, or create with? Do not fret, plastic toys have their place too…keep reading!
Do not underestimate the hours of joy pots and pans can bring… In our house, we try and limit the number of plastic toys. Aside from the obvious reasons of what is in plastic: wooden toys encourage imagination, creativity and help ground children back to nature. It is important to think about the toys you introduce to your baby...
Observing a child use loose parts in play truly is magical, I dream of a child's imagination!
Loose parts have so many benefits, here are four:
1. Encourages children to problem solve
2. Encourages children to engage in more complex play
3. Encourages children to think of cause and effect
4. Encourages children to create, invent an
Tinker Trays are filled with beautiful loose parts. Loose parts are materials that can be moved, carried, combined, redesigned, lined up, and taken apart and put back together in multiple ways. A 3-5 year old may use the materials to create a city, or create letters(for example ) while a 1-2 year old may use the loose parts to fill, dump sort and more, the key is they are materials with no set direction. We are happy to announce that we will be offering Exploring Senses Tinker Trays for sale in both Ontario and Nova Scotia.
A four-year-old child is presented with several Tinker Trays filled with loose parts. She begins stacking the tree cookies one on top of the other, then adds a cork and finally a coloured gem. She exclaims, "I built the leaning tower of Pisa!" (Photo Credit A Tiny Lab for Early Learning)
The most frequent comment I hear when I talk about the importance of messy play is “I don’t have time to clean it all up” or “my husband would never let that mess in our home!” I’ve learned over time many tricks to keeping the house in order (or at least looking like it is) during and after messy play that I’d like to share with you!
Compile Your Essentials
For most activities in my house, we use a large sheet or a shower curtain (dollarama sells them for $2). I love using the sheets for painting, because the sheet begins to tell its own story the longer you use it! I have an organizer I store in my basement (so it is out of sight) that carries paint brushes, trays for paint, cups, sifters, basters, rollers, anything we could use for our play. I like to keep a lot of materials on hand, this way I can follow the lead of my littles…if one day they ask to do alphabet soup, I have everything on hand and we can dive in that...
Sensory experiences provide children with meaningful learning opportunities. The more our senses are engaged the more we learn and retain. All areas of child development are engaged during sensory play.
Cognitive Development – sensory play allows opportunities for children to develop math skills i.e. size, counting, sorting and classification.
Language Development – sensory play provides opportunities for children to speak about their interaction with really exciting materials! Pre-writing skills are developed while scooping, pouring, grasping and using hand-eye coordination with the sensory materials.
Social and Emotional Development – sensory play allows children to have a venue to control their actions and experience. These play experiences naturally help children notice cause and effect and make decisions, predictions and observations.
Creative Development – sensory play is a truly open ended experience with no product. The process or way children choose to use the materials allow...