I think we as adults sometimes forget that keeping it simple works best for learning with young children. I am sometimes so busy creating a lesson plan that focuses on a specific area or concept that I forget to let learning happen spontaneously.
I love the idea of using a variety of materials grouped together for the kids to play with. I feel that capturing their interest is half the battle of learning and how I introduce and encourage their interaction guides continued learning and growth.
I plan on scouring my local re sale shops for collections of like items like tools and scarves as well as visit my local home improvement store for some PVC pipes and elbows. These can be used so many ways and I think the best thing would be to have a basket of them ready to use next to water play and block play. I will have them cut to equal parts, like so many 6” , so may 12”, etc. This would also be a great building exploration as I can have the kids construct a city that a marble can travel through.
I think it is essential to have to have good classroom management policies in place so that the kids are safe and the materials are not being used inappropriately. I can just see one of the older boys using the scarves to tie someone up with!
Lastly, I feel good because my program offers all the areas of development that the slides talk about. I use expressive, communicative and explorative materials and tools every day. This series has inspired me to get new materials and think about what I am offering the children in a different light. It has also encouraged me to better rotate my items and add to my play boxes.