I’m always on the hunt for beautiful, open-ended materials for my classroom, both for free play and for CE. I teach older toddlers (two years turning three) in a full-time children’s center.
What have you stumbled across lately that really caught your eye?
In case you’re looking for the same kinds of inspiration, here’s a few of my “wonderful ideas” 🙂 :
- flashlights. My T-150 investigation was with older infants (just over 1yr old), and flashlights turned out to provoke a fascinating nonverbal discourse around the object permanence of light.
- hubcaps. Just wash them, put silver duct tape on the sharp edges. I found one that had shattered into half a dozen pieces last year, and my students spent quite awhile being archaeologists and trying to figure the thing out.
- a set of sifters; they were silvery mesh circles, about 1ft in diameter, each with a black handle. They were ukeleles, masks, and countless other objects. (Fly swatters were a close second.)
- of course, natural materials: sticks, stones, pinecones. I’ve seen two year olds play for almost an hour with a pile of rocks and a sheepskin rug. (They were bird eggs.)
What unexpected educational treasures have you found?