our shelves: invitations to play and learn
I thought I’d share some of our play shelves every now and again. I set out simple invitations to play and learn to help encourage our days to run peacefully. It is important to rotate toys and learning items to pique children’s interests and to prevent boredom. We threw away more than half our toys a couple months ago in the big toy culling to make a Reggio-inspired playroom. We have a small space, my son’s bedroom is also our toy and play area, so I have to be intentional with what is put out. Usually, many of the items they choose to play with are laid out in creative pretend play, such as garbage truck or cash register lately. Invitations to play and learn need not be complicated; we try to focus on simple, hands-on, open-ended activities.
You will notice that many of these activities include small parts. I know my children, and I know that they don’t mouth things. Please know that small parts can post a potential risk to your child and only use with caution.
Simple math invitation with autumn small parts (from Michael’s), wooden discs with numbers written, and little wooden numbers (also from Michael’s).Small wooden blocks (from the Dollar Store) with little block cards from All our Days. These have been money or food in pretend play, I include the cards as just one idea for what they can be used for. My only requirement is, after play is done, the children clean up their play area.
Animal figures from Shleich and Toobs and animal cards. Magnet letters and a magnet board. May, my two year old loves these! Thick popsicle sticks with velcro dots stuck to each end. These are to build various geometric figures! A Lauri butterfly puzzle. Our ABC felt animals with foam letters and an alphabet puzzle – here is a cuter similar one. Zoobs are so so fun for little hands to work with. So far, the kids have made swords (of course), little guns, a sling shot, people, the list goes on! Who Lives Where? game, I set this up to encourage matching for my daughter who likes these concentration activities.My son has loved this shapes puzzle from when he was two, now my daughter loves it!