Discovering ‘Invitations To Play’ And Watching Them At Work…

Lately I’ve seen lots of ‘invitations to play’ on the internet. In my opinion this is not a new thing – simply a way to encourage a child to use and extend their imagination, and explore and follow their own interests.
The idea is to set up an open ended activity, in an exciting and interesting way, and quite simply allow the child to discover and explore it, in any way they like.
A child is naturally curious, and it is precisely this type of play that inspired me to become a teacher.

The ‘invitations to play’ pin boards are full of inspiration – I decided to try one (which unfortunately I’ve lost the source of..)…

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It was funny to see what happened next. Ted came in and immediately took up the jug of water, and started to try to pour the water in to the open end of the pipette! Excellent motor skills – but an impossibility.. He then tried a smaller item, the outside part of the syringe. Hmmm. Still no luck. While he became intrigued by the working if the syringe, along came Alfie…..

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Yep. Now the fun REALLY starts! Out came the electric toothbrushes… I decided not to stop them, knowing they could be washed – and knowing that these made good ‘whisks’….

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Well, the blue water was fun, but Alfie spotted a little shaving foam which he added…
I then offered them a couple of whisks from the toy kitchen, to see whether these would be more effective…

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Alfie was on the look out for more ingredients to add, and after a squeeze of toothpaste, I found some old travel bottles of shampoo, from many many years ago…

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…and evidently it was back to the electric toothbrushes because they, quite simply, were more fun to use..

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(and it smelled delicious too!)
Later, when Teddy was sleeping, Alfie wanted to try this experiment again, this time in the kitchen…

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…and so now we have a freezer full of ice cubes of many different colours and varieties! 🙂
And learning at its best – open ended exploration, curiosity and interest led.
🙂

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