This week's play began with the children collecting wood scraps and delivering them as "packages" to each other. They all participated in their own way. Last week the pieces of wood were bridges and this week they were packages. Loose parts encourage imagination and creativity by not having a fixed definition of how parts can be used.
We set up an invitation to experiment mixing different textures into paint to see the effect each one creates. We mixed in glue, oats, salt, and flour. And then we created on pieces of cardboard.
One of the children put the big blue ball into a tire and then climbed on top. Someone mentioned that it looked like the child was driving. This prompted all the children to work together to create a train, complete with side cars.
Finally, some of the tomatoes are ready to be eaten! Addison was wondering how the greens one tasted, but decided the orange ones were delicious!
One way that we keep things interesting at Wonderings is by setting up what are called invitations to play, provocations, or play prompts. While it may sound complicated, the idea is quite simple: set out a few different basic materials in an inviting way and step back and let the children explore and play how they choose. Often we use materials that are available during free play but may not be commonly used together. By arranging them in a new way, the children often come up with new and creative uses they hadn't thought of before.
A recent invitation to play we set up consisted of uncooked spaghetti, playdough, and beads. All of these materials have been used before but we had never put them out together. The children who chose to explore the table all played with the materials in different ways. A teacher was nearby observing and facilitating the play but trying not to interfere too much.
Check back regularly as we share more invitations to play, create, and build!