Seating in an early childhood classroom is something that at times goes unnoticed. Adding the Children's Factory MyPosture™ Chairs to one of our classrooms at our largest center has been such a great enhancement in their space. The chairs provide external postural lumbar support to help maintain the natural curve of the spine and offset the muscle fatigue that can lead to slouching. This makes for great chairs to be able to eat snack, lunch, play, create, explore, and learn. Below are two fun invitations we did to break in the chairs!
Loose Parts Hearts// To let the children explore the formation and shape of hearts we drew out a whole bunch of different sized hearts on butcher paper and provided the children with loose parts to trace the hearts creatively.
When a child uses loose parts to create drawn out images, shapes, or designs invitations, it gives opportunities to work on spatial awareness, exposes them to different formations of shapes/lines/letters/numbers, paying attention to detail, & enhancing their language skills as they communicate what they see or what they are doing in an open ended way. As they manipulate the loose parts to fit inside, outside, or around the designs they are enhancing their fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, & shape recognition as well.
There is great importance of loose parts play in the early years. Since loose parts are dynamic in nature, it brings about the authenticity of formulating ideas while taking the pressure off. The more variables an object offers the more possibilities & opportunities the object will provide a child's learning. As they experiment/explore with the loose parts they enter an environment of “what if” that promotes problem solving and theoretical reasoning which helps them understand how things work on their own time.
This is the foundation we want to establish early on in children: to have a higher level of learning and understanding of how things work while honoring their ability to think imaginatively and empower them to figure things out. Loose parts play really breaks away from stereotypical thinking/creating and empowers children to explore, learn, create, wonder, and play in a variety of ways.
Process Art Heart Shape Printing // Children love creating with out of the norm painting tools. We took recycled paper rolls and pinched some of it down to form a heart shape stamp. We provided a large piece of butcher paper, tempera paint, and dot markers as another painting tool to get creative.
The children were amazed that the paper rolls created prints of hearts! As colors and prints became more and more vibrant the children were loving the process. Process-oriented art like this focuses on the creative, exploring a material, or trying something new. It’s all about the process. There are fewer ‘rules’: no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to create with this approach.
There’s something so freeing about just creating around with new materials or trying a new technique without having to worry about how it will look at the end, and it’s a wonderful way to encourage children to be creative without pressure.