Hello, I am Becky. (Rebecca Fisk - an education consultant with expertise in early years and special educational needs.) I have over thirty years of experience teaching young children and training adults. I like to use exploratory play activities so children can play and create in their own way. Today I suggest some ideas to help you get started with exploring containers at home.
Children often like to hide things in containers. Enclosure and enveloping play are a common types of developmental ‘schema’. These are the ways in which children interact with objects through play and explore their world. Children all do different things with items, for example, some roll them, some line them up and arrange them and others may enclose or envelope/hide them. Boxes and bags are a great resource for children who like to contain, envelope and transport objects from one place to another.
Looking for Boxes
Have a search around the house for the boxes and containers you use to store things in. Do you keep your toys in a toy box or your money in a money box? Do your boxes have lids with hinges?
Explore how the boxes work and what they are used for. Are they all made of the same material? What sort of things are kept in the boxes and why?
Discuss any safety issues around their use.
Using a variety of cardboard boxes (prior to them going for recycling) from your daily household use, can you make a small world for small world play on a base, so it is easy to move as needed?
This is a great activity to let a child’s imagination create the small world of their choice to use with play animals or play figures, small cars or finger puppets.
Making a town or farm are good places to start, and it may be that you represent somewhere you have been, like the seaside or park.
This activity is one that can be started and developed over time and revisited for independent imaginary play by your child – you just have to find a space to keep it!
What's in Your Treasure Box?
Have fun going for a walk outside or around the house and collecting items that you want to keep in a treasure box. You might have a box already or want to decorate a cardboard box to keep things in.
Have you already got things that are interesting to keep? I wonder what has made you keep them? Does someone else in the family have a treasure box they could show you?
You might want to start a collection of the same type of object, like buttons or feathers.
Bag of Stitches- Finger Knitting
Bags are great for containing items and transporting them from one place to another.
Here we explore some decorative bags.
We learn how to make finger knitting – a great activity (with support) to develop fine motor skills and dexterity, to support concentration and perseverance. Young children can surprise us at how quickly they can become competent at quite complex activities. Have a go and see if you can learn how to finger knit!
Or perhaps you can start stitching a bag together from pieces of fabric, such as old napkins or tea-towels. Children can choose embellishments to add like buttons and ribbons to personalise their bags.
This is a great shared activity to take your time with and revisit until it is completed.
If you've finished these and still have time for fun...
Can you make some art from ‘found’ objects?
Be safety aware when you hunt for objects.
Can you start a collection of something that interests you? Stamps, pebbles and stones, fossils, buttons and beads, ribbons, for example.
Make your own bag - what will you use and how will you fix it together? Why not experiment!