Thursday, December 29, 2011

Toddlers Always Find a Way

It is a happy talent to know how to play.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Earlier this month we placed an order for several tons of sand to be delivered to our center. In preparation for the delivery, the grounds crew installed our sandbox for us. I started collecting materials for the children to use in the sand box. We've had pots and pans on the playground for a while now but I wanted to add some buckets, shovels and animals for use in the sand.  Although it was several days before the actual sand arrived, the children found a way to use the sandbox and to keep themselves busy, as they always do.

The simple act of climbing in and out provided a new gross motor experience for the youngest toddlers.

Of course, we found the one hole that we could try stuffing objects into.

We discovered some of the animals were too big.

Finding the animals and trying to get them out provided a whole new challenge.

A quiet place to think is a welcome respite from the typical action.

We found some treasures in the sandbox and used them to 'make lines' in the mud.

Toddlers don't need lots of bells and whistles to keep them entertained or to help them learn. A few simple toys, plenty of unstructured time and space along with supportive teachers and caregivers who encourage exploration are really all they need.

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