Open Ended Toys and Crafts
“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder...he needs the companionship of atleast one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy,excitement and mystery of the world we live in.” - Rachel Carson
The kids have been busy this long weekend . Our play theme this weekend - “I am an architect”.
The idea was to combine different materials and build an apartment complex. I was on the floor working with them giving them different ideas on the construction patterns , and eventually they picked it up ... the thought process with this activity was to creatively use different materials and link them together as we construct. It promotes critical and creative thinking process.
Material - mix and match (bring in in pots, glasses, cups anything)
I am using Hard plastic Neon glasses (it’s the best $10 investment I have made), magnatiles, Jenga blocks and toys
Here is a look at the little architects and their constructions.
The child in me totally loves these creative afternoons. Lately I have been really busy working and I have been missing many play opportunities with the kids. Today when my kids came to me to ask help to build a plane for their toys, I looked at my laptop and my long to-do list and then I looked at them. I couldn’t deny this fun chance, and thankfully I gave in. When I checked my watch again, it was almost 2 hours that I was working with them and I was having a ball!
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“Boeing Rainbowliner 2-4-2 , capacity 64 passengers ready for its first flight from SFO to London
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Most of the ideation is done by me , getting all the details and the material planning , the work execution is them. We mostly followed “show-me and I follow” , where I showed them a sample and they continue to build it and then next thing like here this is how we make the seats with Jenga blocks , how about a bathroom ... and so on.
When I am working on detail projects with them like this one we pretend to be Engineers and combine multiple materials. In this project we primarily used manga tiles and jenga blocks and added rainbow stackers to add to the beauty. This play structure is going to stay by the wall for a few days until the kids have played the “plane-time game” their heart out.
#reggioinspired loose parts play is something we love as a calm down/bored afternoon play.
Today, my kids built a universe with the marbles and placed their solar system marbles in the frame, I think it turned out beautiful.
They also created Kid and Flowers:
This week at our house, the kids have been busy making their Engineering Marvels and learning STEM basics with #openendedcrafting - learning outcome was balancing, friction, how structures are created, and creative designing. Materials in use are primarily wooden blocks #waldorftoys- jenga blocks,rainbow stackers and four elements stackers. This is purely child led free play creations with limited assistance from us(grown-ups)!
Some of the creations include
1. A viewing balcony - with jenga blocks and rainbow stackers
2. A state of the art car Musuem
3. A Truck land
4. An apartment complex with 3 buildings of 7 storeys each.
Play is a Child’s work.
Play time is a great learning opportunity for children. Free play is a creative and expressions platform for kids , and structured/guided play time can enhance the kids play time with learning opportunities.
One rainy afternoon in the Spring Camp , the kids worked as a team to mix play and learn and spent 2 hours together to sort a big box of animals into Farm or Forest, Bugs or Ocean and Amphibeans.
The first step was to layout segmented areas for all the 5 categories with Magnatiles- we sorted magnaties by colors and reserved the 2 bigger piles for forest and farm and blue to make the ocean. The kids got to work in setting up the Magna tile mats for the animals - the team work was brilliant and high energy and enthusiasm in the room for a task that is so simple but kids love and relate to and something they could independently work on - gave them a great sense of accomplishment .
Then we went through the big box of animals and the kids started putting them on the relevant tiles. The beauty was while a few of them helped the sorting , the others worked on arranging them in groups or just making it look like a master piece.
Have a look at our fun spring camp afternoon.
A Vitamin Simple Experience