Hi! It's Scott from Brick by Brick. I love to repurpose items and use them in different ways in the preschool classroom.
Sometimes I get things without any particular idea of what I'm going to do with it. (After all, I have those great thinkers in my classroom!) One day in the grocery store, I saw packets of neon straws. I tossed a pack into my cart and took them to my classroom.
I decided to put the straws in the blocks center. My group likes to build and I want to give them some different things to work with. We were talking about wells, so I also added a couple of small buckets with yarn attached. (In the past, kids have built wells and pretended to scoop out water.)
A couple of boys decided to use the straws as "water." They stuffed the straws into the buckets and transported them across the center. They dumped the "water" onto the picture of the well, I think to fill it up. The boys worked at this for a while.
Meanwhile, in another part of the center, one of my builders was at work creating a large structure.
After the others left, the builder completed his building and began to scoop and play with the straws.
Then he decided to incorporate the straws in his structure.
I love how each straw is strategically placed. He worked really hard to find just the right spot in his structure.
I enjoy exploring and experimenting just like my kids. Sometimes I'll put things out and they will be ignored. Sometimes the kids do things that I expect. And sometimes I get a block structure filled with straws. And if I put these same materials out with a different group of kids, I'll get a different result.
That's what's great about the early childhood years. Children are exploring the things they want to know more about or things they wonder. And, with a tiny push like a new material or a different idea, they explore into really great areas.
What experiments and explorations are you seeing in your classrooms?