For the past couple months, play dough and the rice bin have been very popular among the children’s play. During their play in these activities we document their language as well as demonstrate language used in math such as full, empty, pour, measure and scoop. In play dough, lots of food related items have been created, especially bakery type items like cupcakes, cakes and cookies.
Exploring loose parts seems to intrigue the children recently as well. As the children explore loose parts, they naturally sort objects and use open-ended materials to experiment, engage, construct and invent. Specifically, our kids used open-ended materials to create a gift for their friend, Camden because it was his birthday. In addition to loose parts, I placed various recyclable materials, glue, paper,and other various objects on display for the children to use to make Camden a birthday present.
Lily and Zai made Camden a birthday cake out of creative abstract objects. Zai used play dough and a pipe cleaner while Lily used a foam block with beads strung on a pipe cleaner. They used their imagination and creativity, but best of all, they experienced joy in giving their creation to a friend on his birthday. For more on Loose Parts, check out: The Theory of Loose Parts Here.
Displaying these materials for the children and leaving the activity open-ended resulted in creative and higher level thinking. It was the children’s idea to make Camden a birthday cake and no two cakes were the same…very different actually! A delight for us parents to witness… from the creation process to presenting the gifts to their friend…very precious.