As most of you know I work from home as a family day care worker.
I have noticed that some children are able to use their imaginations more then others.
This last week I decided to pack up all the bright colourful toys and bring out toys that allow children to use their imaginations. I added lemons, peaches, bark, shells and rocks to the home corner and took away the wooden and plastic foods.
We played with the dinosaurs and animals in the grass with ladders, rocks and bricks and inside we used pasta threading and mixed dried beans with measuring cups and spoons as sensory activities. The play spaces were very simple and I have to admit some children and parents initial reaction was a one of shock. I could see it in their eyes, “where have all the toys gone”.
The first day was tough, it took a bit of time for the children to work out how to play. I encouraged them to add to the areas, going in search of natural materials to add to their play spaces. We sought out muffin trays and cooking utensils to add to their outside play.
After the second day the children realised that the other toys (which they only ever tipped out and moved on) were NOT coming out and with my encouragement really enjoyed using their imaginations. We played doctors using scrap materials and homemade medicines made from water, dirt and flower petals and did some more arrowroot chalk paintings and used contact for some window art.