Big. Small. Rough. Smooth. These are some ways we would describe the materials that we use in our programming for our young toddlers in Shale. Along with a multitude of others. Through the use of different materials, the children are encouraged to build on communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal, problem solving, and introduce them to curricular areas like math and science. In congruency to the environment, materials act as another educator in the room.
Materials open up possibilities or limit possibilities for young children’s care, play, and learning.
Sometimes finding a balance of which materials and how much we may need can be difficult, but it is important for the children to be exposed even as young as our Shale friends to begin to learn the idea of respecting materials for their purpose, how they can be reused, and how some are disposable after their use.
Materials also encourage the idea of play and being playful.
I/we are inventing, creating, and imagining. I/we are creating and testing theories…. I/we area representing our knowledge using multimodal literacies. I/we are taking risks in/for learning.
When choosing a material, these are some of the thing we must think about:
Do they engage the children? Do they create an opportunity to use imagination? Do they pose questions that we need to experiment with the material in order to discover a purpose? And the most important of all; do these materials allow us to exercise our rights as citizens and show potential as the mighty learners that we are?
We have an encouraged challenge for you: ask yourself the above questions when you choose a material for your child.
What are your child’s favourite materials to use at home? Do they meet some of these criteria? Why could this material be more intriguing than other?
If you haven’t already, we are still looking for parent quotes for Our National Child Day board. We will be having a celebration on Friday, November 18 from 3pm to 5 pm and would love for you all to join us!
Have a great long weekend!
Cassi, Sarah, Young and Michelle