As we were setting up this room we collectively decided to keep the space as open ended in as many ways as we could. Our hope was to allow creativity and imagination to drive the play that would happen here. With the belief that our environment is the third teacher, we filled the space with texture and beauty by adding plants, fabrics and other natural materials such as tree stumps and dried flowers that we change and add based on interest. The shelves are filled with carefully thought out loose parts and open ended toys made from natural materials.
By keeping traditional plastic toys to a minimum and using loose parts and natural materials, the children will be encouraged to use their creativity and imagination. We also know that, studies show, loose parts encourage many developing skills, such as early math, literacy skills, problem solving, communication and the list goes on and on. We take pride in setting up and storing our loose parts in ways that will spark curiosity, wonder, and/or inspiration.
We are striving to make our room as barrier free as possible, there is no set art space, water space, or block area. Almost everything can be moved based on the direction of the play the children are engaging in. This is a work in progress and we are challenging ourselves everyday to keep up with this amazing journey. We are excited to continue sharing our wonderful growth and discovery on this adventure.