Lately I’ve been trying to challenge myself to think a little differently; to see materials in a different way, present them differently in order to encourage Jack (3.5yrs) and Sarah (18mths) to engage in new ways.
We have a couple of glittery gel sensory bags which the kids have been enjoying playing with over the last couple of months. They were using them to make marks in the gel, but what if you added projected light? How would Jack and Sarah approach them then?
The different thicknesses of gel made for different shades of colour. It was really beautiful. Jack started making stars, while Sarah marvelled in the colour that filled the room. She hasn’t yet made the connection between what she does on the OHP and the projection on the wall. Sarah mostly engages with one or the other. But Jack can see the connection.
While Sarah played on the OHP, Jack was transfixed on the wall; watching the colours move.
A twist of the handle and the colours blur, creating beautiful spectrums of light. Jack wanted to ‘swim in the colours’.
Thinking differently is challenging. What do we usually put together? Playdough and cutters, paint and paper, water and funnels… but what else could they be used for? How could we encourage our children to explore more deeply and creatively?
This is how I am challenging myself; to think differently, to put aside my notions, to see no proper purpose in a material, no proper use, in the hope that it opens up space for new discoveries. It is difficult, but we will see how we go.