And brave philosophers are, inevitably, children".
|Transient art sculpture created by a 20 month old child in Family Daycare WA|
|Sand and water that can be mixed offers a very high play affordance!|
|Adults analyse the learning. Cornish College, Melbourne|
Nature’s store cupboard offers us the widest range of loose parts; some of the advantages nature offers is that the natural resources are highly sensorial, come in so many different forms which offer selection and challenge, are freely available and inexpensive. They also come in ranges and tones of colour that reflect the gentle colours of Nature’s palette instead of the standard very bright primary colours I so often find in young children’s environments. Too many bright colours are visually distracting and I feel add to the visual clutter in an environment that many children and adults struggle to concentrate in.
The best is that they offer a very high play affordance!
|Seashells for children to collect - treasures they choose, colourful, broken - each one a chosen treasure for the child|
So what do we need??
The type of natural resources that motivate and stimulate young children are sticks, stones, shells, water, soil, sand, seedpods, pinecones, wild grasses, plants, leaves, flowers and more. Objects that can be lined up, collected, arranged, hidden, used for construction. These should be available both indoors and outdoors – the outdoors tends to offers opportunities for large scale play which generally allows children more freedom. Adults tend to be more relaxed allowing children to 'make a mess' and allowing them greater freedom !
- · containers of various sizes and made of various materials; buckets, bottles, boxes
- · tools; saws, drills, rakes, metal and wooden spoons, spades
- · resources: guttering, boxes, long sticks, cellophane, large bits of fabric, assortment of balls
- · materials to join objects: string, twine, Sellotape, masking tape, wire
|A cubby for children and one for fairies made indoors with natural materials collected. Cornish College, Melbourne|