Making Meaningful Connections with Everyday Items

February 5, 2020
Making Meaningful Connections with Everyday Items

This tip of the week comes from Lisa Zaretsky, an Early Childhood educator and founder of her own program, playAGAIN. Children are endlessly resourceful, imaginative, and curious. They adore an empty cardboard box because it has such potential: it can be anything, for anyone. Read below to learn about open-ended, re-purposed items and how to use them:

Open-Ended, Re-Purposed items can be used and reused. They are low cost and easy to access. They can be mixed and matched, adapted for children of all ages and abilities, and enjoyed in an infinite number of ways. There’s no set of instructions with a paper towel tube or an empty yogurt container, so children are motivated to explore based on their own ideas, capabilities, and questions. And the best part: the countless “aha” moments they provide …when you see your child make a discovery, or a realization, and then want to do it again. So think about what you can do with what you have! And keep it simple because children can learn so much from so little.

Here are 5 examples of ways you can use everyday items to create meaningful and engaging connections with your children.

1) Paper:

Rip some junk mail, fliers, old catalogs and toss in a big bowl for a pretend cooking experience. Add tongs and spoons.

2) Napkin:

Bunch a napkin in one hand and play “Guess which hand?”

3) Cups:

Place some (unbreakabke) cups on the floor and stack them or make a long line and pretend it’s a train!

4) Cotton balls:

Fill a paper towel tube and blow. Out comes a “snowy” surprise!

5) Egg Cartons:

Fill the spaces with cotton balls, counting as you go.

For more tips like these, click here.

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