We love getting new resources at Kindergarten and today the children helped to open up something very special; some new small wooden families and furniture.
The task of opening up the boxes to discover what was inside lead to some great team work and discussion.
It is our choice not to have an actual dolls house at Kindergarten, rather, as you can see from the photographs we have wooden walls, gates and stairs that can be transformed into anything a child's imagination desires. Sometimes these assist in being a castle, farm or zoo for the animals. Today however they became new homes for our two new families.
At Mairtown we frequently draw upon aspects of the Waldorf Philosophy in our teaching and resources. This philosophy embraces the use of open ended resources (such as our wooden walls) and other 'less finished materials'. This allows these resources to be more suggestive to children and therefore of greater educational value as they capture and enliven the imaginative life of the child.
Providing opportunities for fantasy and imagination assists in stimulating children's play.
“Play is how children begin to understand and process their world,” (Angie Rupan, Child Development Centre, San Francisco)
Today we set this play space up outdoors and soon discovered that it provided options for children to play in small groups, or take some time away from the other busy areas to engage in quiet, thoughtful and independent play .
Another thing we observed was the rich vocabulary the children used in their play with the dolls and furniture, often telling and acting out some wonderful dramatic stories.
When playing alongside other children or adults, vocabulary and language skills are fostered. "Playing with a dolls house or dolls allows children to re-enact what happens in their everyday life, using the words and phrases they hear. Often you are likely to hear words from family members come out of their mouths as they re-create events that have happened - perhaps with an outcome more suited to their liking!" (Traci Geiser, Education.com)
The children spent all morning arranging and re-arranging the furniture to their taste and style. I love how this room has been made even more beautiful with the clever addition of some flowers and petals - what great creative thinking.
Finally, I just had to add this picture as it makes me smile!