Jackson grabs a bag and begins to gather any materials he can find around the room. He hoists the bag around his shoulder, likely mimicking his mom and her purse. He proudly carries the bag across the room, looking to educators for recognition of his accomplishment. Ellis and Eleanor explore the market baskets together, each finding balls and gathering them together in their baskets. As they work together to collect the balls throughout the room, Roslynn joins until all of the balls are collected. Once complete, they feel accomplished and celebrate together with laughter and clapping. Lucy finds the play-dough bag and a bolt. She puts the bolt into the bag, and carries it around the room for twenty minutes. As soon as other friends approach, she becomes very protective of her new found treasure. It is something she has found, chosen to keep, and feels proud of.
Collecting is defined as to bring or gather together and to accumulate. This is something our young toddlers are very good at. They love to gather and collect things. They show no discretion when it comes to finding a treasure. It can be any size or shape, colour or texture. When they find it, they hold onto it dearly, of course until they find the next treasure. Have you heard of the toddler rules of possession? Does it sound familiar to you? ?
“1. If I like it, it’s mine.
2. If it’s in my hand, it’s mine.
3. If I can take it from you, it’s mine.
4. If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine.
5. If it’s mine, it must NEVER appear to be yours in anyway.
6. If I’m doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.
7. If it looks just like mine, it is mine.
8. If I saw it first, it’s mine.
9. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically becomes mine. 10. If it’s broken, it’s yours.”
We began our journey into collecting for multiple reasons. Our Shale friends have shown a deep interest for finding a treasured item and holding onto it tight – sometimes for days. They’ve also shown repeated interest in gathering multiples of something and putting them away as well as a deep desire to mimic the things they’ve seen in their day-to-day life; just like mom carrying her purse. We’ve been introducing new and old materials to collect within the room. It seems to have given our pre-explored materials a new life and exciting opportunities to explore new materials in a more powerful way. By gathering the items, it gives them a sense of ownership and power that they may have yet to experience, especially in daycare when we share all materials with each other. By collecting similar items and putting them in a chosen destination is allowing our Shale toddlers to build on their skills in following direction and having task-oriented goals. Mimicking the adults in their life gives them a sense of power and ownership. This feeling is likely new or seldom felt for them and is a perfect way to build real-world experiences and knowledge.
On our planning webs, you can see we are exploring three questions during our days:
1. How do we collect?
2. What can we collect with?
3. What can we collect?
Now we pose a question to you! Are you noticing your child collecting at home?
Have a fantastic weekend! Sarah, Young and Cassi