Sunday, July 17, 2011

Kitchen Play

Well, as we start to wrap up this little series on open-ended play, I had to include some ways we've incorporated everyday things we have around the house into our play and learning.

There are so many toys to be found in the kitchen! Outside of the many practical and original uses for items found in our kitchens of which the educational benefits are many, my focus today will be in keeping with our series on encouraging open-ended play. Here are some creative alternative uses that my kitchen has afforded:

• My boys have borrowed my dough hook to masquerade as Captain Hook trapped in the gaping jaws of the crocodile.
• They have used my Tupperware to not only imitate cooking and eating, but also to sort and store small toys of theirs. It has provided a rich medium to facilitate the development of those motor skills required to open and shut the various lids!
• My guy has even used them to represent drums. (A peek into my future maybe???)
• They have borrowed my rolling pin for play dough, to act as wheels when pretending to be cars, etc.
• Tongs have become lobster or scorpion pincers or bird beaks.
• Large serving spoons have doubled for oars in our “boats”.
• My babies have all enjoyed the simple thrill of getting a play silk or scarf out of a slotted spoon.

All of these activities have challenged them in not only their physical development, but also been great for their creative development as well. Although I modeled much of the “alternative” uses for items at first, it has been exciting to watch my boys grow in their critical thinking skills and making do with what we have around us!

Of course, I’m still working on finding the balance of encouraging creativity and containing the chaos when too much of my kitchen has been taken elsewhere. But then developing the responsibility of putting things back where they go is part of the learning process as well.  I will say that during an especially crazy stage in my life, even the Tupperware cabinet was put under lock.  As the boys get older though, they are learning how to put things away and I've been able to loosen up on that again.

Providing our children with rich toys or homeschool props does not need to be expensive.  We usually just use what is lying around the house!

[Open-Ended Play Series, Part 8]

No comments:

Post a Comment