In her latest book, Helen Tovey encourages nurseries to include a workshop area with “a wide range of recycled and craft resources... It is a very dynamic place and will change from day to day, even from hour to hour. Many children use the workshop area to make props for their play, for example watches, magic wands, mobile phones, superhero capes, head-bands, crowns, and so on.” While a young child enjoys playing with materials and exploring their sensory qualities, an older child will use them with clear purpose. For instance, a two-year-old might pick up a toilet roll centre and poke something through it, but a four-year-old might use it to make a pair of spectacles.
When a child gets an idea like this, she has determination to persist and she learns so much in the process. This is what Froebel called self-activity. He emphasised that children need to discover their own challenges and then solve them. Adult awareness is crucial, because sometimes a child can visualise an idea but encounter difficulties trying to achieve her goal. An adult can support with suggestive questions.
Our Creative unit kitted out with inviting tools and materials empowers children to pursue their plans. Use your own creativity to set up a multi-purpose workshop to spur your children’s independence and imagination.
P.S. Read the full review of Helen Tovey's book Bringing the Froebel Approach to your Early Years Practice