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November Play Provocations

Posted by sunshine-dayhome on November 6, 2015 at 3:20 PM

An important part of my dayhome is setting up inspirations for play, or play provocations. These carefully arranged groupings draw the child in to play; they support creativity, free play time, and development across the domains. I try to have two or three out at all times, and change them up about once a week. If the children don't play with them at all, I switch them out, and if they love the arrangement, and play with the materials all the time, I of course leave it up for longer. I choose the play provocations based on what the children are currently interested in; this follows an emergent curriculum and almost guarantees their interest, because I simply support what they already like or are curious about.


In this first provocation, I made a set of textured rubbings for them to explore. You simply lay a piece of paper on top and run the crayon across it to get the imprint. Everyone loved doing this outside this past summer, so I found a way to bring it inside! Next is Where's Waldo; I got the idea when I noticed how drawn the children were to the binoculars at play group last week. It was really fun for me to gather these books up for the children; a blast from my past, and I found myself even sitting down to find Waldo!


Finally, this simple xylophone. It was lent to me by my mother, a Waldorf teacher here in Edmonton. The simplest form of play provocation is setting out a new and unique, interesting item to explore, and the children here play with this each and every day. It will stay in the play area until their interest fades, and then be replaced by the next musical item (a harp, or maracas maybe?).


One final note on cost: each of these ideas cost me literally nothing at all. It can seem expensive trying to continually come up with ideas for inspirations or provocations that match the children's current needs, but by having a store of open-ended items, a library card, and a creative mind, you can easily set out great play prompts without breaking the bank. Look at what you have and think about the children you spend time with, and let the ideas flow!

Categories: Emergent curriculum, Toddler, Preschooler

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