Sunday 29th August 2010
Two girls, not a care in the world, playing in the garden and enjoying the sunshine.
Sand, flower pots, matchsticks, shells.
On the same day three mummy bloggers, Sian, Josie and Eva flew to Bangladesh with Save the Children to see what life is like for children living there. Please take a moment to visit the Save the Children site and find out about the campaign.
Makes me think what childhood my girls would be having had they by chance been born somewhere else.
This post is shared with the Gallery at Sticky Fingers which this week is taking a snapshot of life on August 29th 2010
This week’s #goplay Twitter Tips are all about un – toys : the favourite things to play with which you won’t find in the toy shops, the alternative to plastic, battery-operated toys.
#goplay Twitter Tip #1 Consider what makes a great toy: fun, stimulating, open-ended, multi-use, still interesting as the child grows
#goplay Twitter Tip #2 What’s an un-toy? Natural materials & everyday objects: an alternative to plastic, battery-operated, one-purpose toys
#goplay Twitter Tip #3 I find children play longer & with more concentration with un-toys: they’re versatile & offer more play opportunities
#goplay Twitter Tip #4 Some un-toys we love: sticks, boxes, shells, pots & pans, wooden spoons, bottle tops, button, fircones, food packets
#goplay Twitter Tip #5 There’s no ‘right way’ to play with un-toys: let your child’s imagination decide & watch each child play differently
#goplay Twitter Tip #6 Did you know the stick and the cardboard box have both been inducted into the Toy Hall Of Fame? http://www.museumofplay.org/nthof/toys/index.php?toy=cardboard_box
#goplay Twitter Tip #7 A cardboard box can become a train , a story tent or a house
#goplay Twitter Tip #8 How about collecting some pebbles this weekend and making a set of story stones?
#goplay Twitter Tip #9 How about providing some un-toys for dressing up? fabric, scarves, ribbons so children can create their own costumes?
#goplay Twitter Tip #10 Why not try some un-toys & see what your child thinks: have fun, #goplay, go green, be creative, use your imagination!
*These #goplayTwitter Tips are tweeted each Friday at 8.30pm – follow @nurturestore or the #goplay hashtag to share
View the Twitter Tips on playdough, water play, travelling with kids junk modeling and encouraging reading and writing
Happily shared with…
The summer holidays are such a wonderful opportunity to bring some more play into our children’s lives. Even if you have pre-schoolers or are home educating, this time of year just seems to bring with it an added element of play. So over the summer NurtureStore is celebrating by launching a Play Academy to showcase fantastic ways to turn learning into fun.
Even more excitingly, we have the great privilege of linking up with Tara from Sticky Fingers, who runs an amazing photography project called the Gallery. Each week Tara provides a prompt idea and bloggers around the globe produce a picture giving their interpretation of the theme: sometimes beautiful, sometimes moving, sometimes funny. This week Tara is joining with us and dedicating the theme of the Gallery to: Playtime!
So, will you join in?
To enrol in the Play Academy all you need to do is grab your kids and go play. Indoors, outdoors, imaginary play, messy play, small world play, building towers, building dens, drawing pictures, throwing balls – it’s up to you and your children. Take a picture, add a few words and then come back here on Wednesday 4th August and join the first Play Academy party by posting a link here, and also over at the Sticky Fingers Gallery. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a master photographer, or have never joined the Gallery before. In fact you don’t even need to be a blogger as you’ll be able to link up through the Facebook page. What is important is that you have a passion for play to share! (And if you have, you can grab the Play Academy button from over there <—)
Come and celebrate play, share ideas and inspiration.
The A – Z of Kids Play & Learning
A is for…. Active Learning
I once sat in on a pre-school session where the teacher was introducing a group of eight 3-year-olds to the idea of mixing colours. She had two pots of paint, one red and one yellow, and was showing the children how combining the two would make orange. Messy fun, sensory play swirling the colours together, and the magical realisation that they’re created something new by stirring the colours together. Except the children weren’t allowed to touch the paint themselves. They were being asked to sit around a table and watch the teacher having all the fun. What a missed opportunity to let the children do some active learning.
Active learning means learning by doing – by exploring and investigating, being spontaneous and engaging in purposeful play. It’s the way children learn best. They are naturally curious and inquisative, so rather than see our job as giving children information we can look for ways to help them learn and discover for themselves. No hot-housing, no flash cards, no sitting still and being taught, but rather using their everyday experiences to learn: at the breakfast table, in the bath, in the garden, on the way to play group. By letting children persue their interests with our support, they gain a positive attitude to learning. They enjoy learning, they gain confidence and independence and they aquire new skills.
Here are three ideas you could use this week to support your children in their active learning:
1. Materials: Can you provide some materials, toys or objects which are ‘open-ended’ so you child can use them in a variety of different ways in their play? How will you child play with some wooden blocks, yoghurt pots, fir cones or shells? Let them use their creativity and see where their imagination takes them.
2. Freedom: Can you let your children choose how to play this week? Are they able to access different toys / materials to include in their play — perhaps by having it on low, open shelving or in toy boxes, so they can include different objects in their games? Can they have ‘permission’ to play their way, taking toys in to the garden, using jigsaw pieces as food in their ‘cooking’ or wearing a tambourine as a hat? Can they spend the whole morning rolling a ball down a slide (and experimenting with gravity and rotation as they play?)
3. Support: Can you play along with them and talk to them about what they’re doing? Can you help them solve problems when they meet an obstacle to their play? Can you plan another opportunity for them to explore their interests further?
As an example of active learning, taking a child’s interest and supporting it to provide more fun and learning you might like to have a look at our ‘Ducks’ post.
What could you play this week?