...That is the question!
Today, my little pandas made my heart a little warmer than usual.
I was having a shower whilst my littlest panda was posting things under the door for me (never truly alone are we?!!). He started posting wax crayons (the joys!!) and soon discovered that the fat ones didn't fit! Big sister soon joined in the problem-solving fun and discovered that there were wider gaps for posting under the door (is my door actually level?!!). Some crayons still didn't quite fit, but then, a new discovery - when the crayons were pushed under the door, the wax crayon became shaved a little (yes, I'm still in the shower, albeit getting dry now surrounded by posted objects!!! Yes, I did say they made my heart warm...bear with me!!) These shavings then turned into immense giggles and a long list of possible role play opportunities! Plus further experimentation with various pots and graters downstairs later that moring when they chose to recreate the activity (without the door).
So, the heart warming bit... My children problem solved, communicated, learnt about size, colour, consequence, used tools and had fun for over an hour (no, I wasn't in the shower for that long!!!) This was all achieved through household objects and open ended, imaginative play.
I have read so many articles which discuss the use of toys in our homes. Do children have too many? Are they limiting play opportunities? Are children allowed the time to freely explore and create?
The main problem that has stuck with me is that alot of the toys that are on the market provide very closed play. They are designed to be played with in a certain way and the child has to get it 'right'.
The BEST toys by far are cardboard boxes, paper, being outdoors! Children need to use their imagination and have open-ended play. A cardboard box can become anything that child desires and then tomorrow it can become something new (if wanted) Children need the freedom to explore and to just be children! Amazingly, that's when my 2 get along best!! Plus, I get to lock myself away in the bathroom :-) !!