Free Play with Craft and Recycled materials

Feb 28, 2012

This activity is just about letting your child choose, experiment with and get creative with a range of recycled materials and craft supplies.
Children need to be able to experiment with materials without always having a desired end result or a specific procedure to follow.
Allowing them to choose the direction of their play lets them be creative, use their imagination and follow their own direction.
Sometimes you can be amazed by what they come up with. Ideas you never would have had…

Set out a range of craft supplies and recycled materials along with glue, tape etc so that they can be easily seen and accessed by your child

 Straight away, Madeline knew what she was making... I didn't

 Feeling all the different materials and textures while choosing appropriate materials and using fine motor skills for her construction

Her end results. Little cakes! Next step; open a cake shop and start imaginative play.

Some tips:

- Use whatever craft and recycled materials you have on hand or let your child choose a selection of items

- Assist your child as much or as little as needed to simplify or extend this activity

- When displaying materials, I like to group them in like materials/textures. So for example, I would put paper items together, soft pompoms and cotton balls together, string and wool together, paddle pop sticks and other wooden items together, shiny things together etc so that my child can easily find items and subconsciously learn about grouping and categorising

- This activity can be repeated time and time again with a different end result each time. Mix around and change some of the materials that you provide each time to inspire new ideas

- Talk with your child about the physical and mental processes they are going through. Ask them questions to help connect their understanding and use vocabulary to give them words to describe what they're creating, eg. "What are you creating?" "Why did you choose that?" "How are you going to attach this to that?" "I love how you've arranged them on the shiny, silver doily" etc

- Remember that sometimes children just create, they don't need it to be a specific item at the end. It could just be an abstract creation. Allow this and don't push them to think they must make something "real."

Debs :)