Tag Archiv: open-ended play

Outdoor Small World Play Area

Small world play is an excellent tool in the development of well-rounded children. They act out stories they’ve read (or had read to them), they act out social situations and practice handling emotions, they make up their own stories and exercise their creative muscle.
Having an outdoor small world play area just adds to the benefits. The sensory experience of real plants and dirt, the fresh air and sun on their skin. No doubt about it an outdoor small world play area, or “fairy garden,” is a childhood must-have.

Small World Play Area (1)


Optical Illusions, Holograms, Mirrors, Lights, and Lasers

While the Reggio approach to early childhood education is not quite right for our family, I’ve always admired the beautiful materials used. Specifically the attention to light and reflection which seems to captivate the children exposed to these nurturing environments.

We’ve long had a light table for the children to play on, but we’ve only recently made them a mirror box. Reflections are after-all one of the most basic forms of optical illusions…
How to Make a Mirror Box2
Mirror boxes really are quite simple to make. You merely need (more…)

Doll House from Ikea Expedit

Doll House from Ikea Expedit, Suzy Homeschooler (1)
This is one of those projects where the end result looks *nothing* like what I had originally set out to create. ¬†Though I suppose if I want something to look a certain way, I should probably stop asking for LittleMan’s help making it because we will rarely agree. (more…)

Painting Without Brushes

Painting without brushes is one of our favorite activities and we do it quite often. Usually its something as simple as a standard sheet of construction paper and one non-brush tool for painting. Occasionally I like to think a bit larger in scale. There is no shortage of ideas out there, if you’re interested in painting without brushes.

The following are images from one impromptu painting activity. I put this together in less than 5 minutes one afternoon when our neighbor’s daughter came over to play and all three children were starting to get a bit edgy from the heat. The items were all pulled from our art room and toy bins. The result was a roaring success as it did what it was intended to do: put the children in a happier, more cooperative mood. They painted for about an hour before moving on to their next form of play, mud sculptures.

Although I normally offer explanations of the images I share, I believe these images need no explanation.

Painting without Brushes from Suzy Homeschooler (1) (more…)