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‘ The more real world materials your child can hold and examine, the better… let the artefacts accumulate slowly over time, in an organic and meaningful way…let [your child] build and curate the collection’
Day 16 of our 30 Days to Transform Your Play series and we are talking about real tools.
Real tools. Materials from the real world, rather than a plastic-toy alternative are so appealing to children. Being able to pretend, create and invent with authentic materials gathered from here and there is very satisfying; feeling the differently weighted materials, the different textures, the colours and all the working parts, it is hard to resist.
Along with materials to play with, real tools in child-sized versions allow children to experience the world in a fuller capacity; child-sized kitchen utensils offer a more enjoyable baking experience and child-sized gardening tools means they can dig and plant happily without lugging a large heavy tool (or an unsatisfying cheap plastic one).
Real tools for inquiry; magnifying glasses, binoculars as well as tools for creative expression; digital/film camera, modelling tools, sculpting tools, mean the child can delve right into their interests with tools that work. They can focus on refining their skills or building on their knowledge rather than being hindered with ‘kiddy’ versions which are often poor quality.
In the playroom:
- dress-ups – we’ll be talking more about dress-ups next week but for now…
- doctors’ kit – stethoscope, bandages, tongue pressers, notebook for prescription pad, glasses, cue tips, band-aids
- old work clothes – hard-hats, high-vis vests, army hats, belts…
- old telephones and phone books
- old tv remotes
- old computer keyboard
- bibs ‘n’ bobs – we’ll often go to the tip shop and fill a bag with various things like
- old power switches
- light covers
- pipes…anything really which takes their fancy. They’ll use these things for inventing and pretend play
- musical instruments – percussion instruments are reasonably priced at music stores and sound infinitely better than plastic or toy ones from a toy shop
- wooden spoon
- mixing bowl
- vegetable cutters and knives
- chopping board
- vegetable brush – we use mushroom brushes from Wheel & Barrow. They are the perfect size for little hands
- vegetable peeler
- child-sized apron
- measuring cups
- rolling pin
- metal spade
- metal garden fork
- watering can
- clay sculpting tools
- lino cutting tools
- artists’ brushes – different size and thickness
- rulers and geometry shapes
- glue gun
- sewing tools
- wood-working tools
- hammer – You can see Jack working away here
- sandpaper block
- wood glue
- measuring tape – Bunnings have small measuring tapes
- wood pencil
- digital camera
- editing software (Jack enjoys using Picmonkey)
You might already have many of these around your home; get them out, pop them in a basket or on their own shelf in an inviting way.
So tell me, what are your favourite real tools and which ones would you like to add to your home?
If you missed a post, here’s the rest of the series.
Don’t forget to check out Rachel’s posts on Racheous – Lovable Learning