As I walk through the toddler classroom and observe children using loose parts/beautiful stuff in their play I am inspired to share with you the journey of adding beautiful stuff-loose parts to our sensory table.
The toddlers have been over the course of the school year using loose parts/beautiful stuff in their play throughout the classroom environment. The teachers had baskets and jars throughout the classroom of loose parts connected to dramatic play, sensory, and block play. The children would bring the loose parts from one area of the classroom to other areas of the classroom incorporating the loose parts into their play-cooking, filling up trucks, using with sand and other sensory explorations.
The children began getting their back packs and bags from their cubby and filling them with loose parts, so we added bags to the environment. At one team meeting when we were reflecting on children's play and trying to figure out what to put in the sensory table, we decided to put the loose parts from throughout the classroom into the sensory table and see what the children would do.
The children were happy to have a variety of loose part sin the sensory table, they would sort them, use them in cooking, fill up the bags and incorporate the play into their dramatic play, fill up trucks and of course bring them to the box house. We have added different materials or different shapes, colors and material to the sensory table to continue to support and extend children's interests and learning.
It was a ah ha moment for us to use the sensory table for loose parts and to support children in using materials in various ways.
Learning stories are Reggio inspired, a way for us to share with you the story of learning that is happening in our classroom. The photos are from September -March to show the progression of children's play and learning connected to loose parts. Enjoy!