Welcome to Day 10 in the 30 Days to Transform Your Play series with myself and An Everyday Story! Today we are discussing the selection of materials. This includes toys, play materials, art materials and books.
I completely agree with Kate that the materials and toys that we give our children is a reflection of how we view them. This is true too of the spaces we create for them and the way we display their belongings. Our respect for our child and their interests, their curiosity and their capabilities will show in the toys and materials we choose for them.
I select materials based on whether they are:
(in no particular order)
- made of natural materials where possible,
- realistic – I’ve touched on real tools for exploration and learning previously,
- open-ended or at least have several uses,
- affordable (not necessarily ‘cheap’: for example, if an item is gender-less, spans many ages and has many uses – like Spielgaben, for example – I will view the expense as an investment)
- attractive (not as a novelty, but attractive in the sense that it has beauty and simplicity that inspires play and exploration), and
- good quality.
Some reflection for you:
- What do you think is your image of a child & where do you think this view originated from?
- How do you think this view and your idea of their capabilities influences the materials you purchase?
- How do you think you could change the materials and/or your perception to better your child’s play and engagement?