I fully recommend that everyone finds their way into local op shops, garage sales and Recycled material shops with their eyes wide open and a thought of mixing materials. As it happens a few weeks ago I visited a shop called “That’s not Garbage”. I’d taken the kids with me and we picked up plastic bocce balls, materials, cardboard cones and a range of other items. At the same time my Bassie, my autistic 7 year old, hid his shoes. Now this is not some sort of neatly organised op shop. It’s a large store room of assorted boxes, business ‘junk’ and lots and lots of hidey holes. We looked and looked, Bassie wasn’t giving up the location of the shoes, so I had to leave without them. The man took my details in the hope that they would turn up. Well they did. So I snuck in an extra visit to this wonderland of ‘waste’ products.
I found a variety of wooden frames, some covered in canvas and others not. across the room I picked up a bundle of satin materials, felts, wooden stencils, zips and other bits and pieces. Seeing the pieces as I walked, I clocked my interest and finally came back to the counter with an armful of goodies.
At Kindy, we sat around the square as a group and I introduced the children to safety aspects of the day, we needed space, we needed to concentrate, we needed to measure things out and plan what we were doing, but most of all, we were going to use real tools. The majority of the kids were practically statues as they waited for their turn, while others wandered off to the sound chamber and then came back for their turns.
The children took turns, they showed fantastic hand eye co-ordination, they worked on reassessing their aim and technique as they hit each nail. The confidence they showed in their abilities was tempered only by their careful attendance to safety, we really need to ‘Stop, collaborate and listen” (I know it’s incredibly lame to use such obvious lyrics, but once Bobby Brown lyrics get stuck in your head, it’s hard to get them out!)
We took a break for morning tea, opening up other play opportunities for the group – and what could be better than using our play tools on wooden boards, as well as our hammer boards and shapes.
The finished product – our zipper board! At this point in time it’s free standing, leaning against walls or tables, I was going to put a base on it, but thought I might wait and see what the kids need before I make that presumption!
Oh and the other frames i picked up have started their journey into becoming our classroom loom. Hopefully we’ll be able to make a few small mats that I can sew together to make wall hangings or mats 🙂 Old satin nighties have been cut into strips and wound onto reels so that we can easily move the material in a weaving fashion.
I’m not planning on this being an instant gratification experience, rather one that each child can add to in their own way, at their own pace.So I’ve set it up under a nice quiet window near the book nook and AV centre. Lets hope that what it offers in its existence will be taken up by my curious Kindy Kids!