June 17, 2017 Authentic Resources

At The Curiosity Approach, we absolutely love Authentic resources, recycled materials and loose parts.

We spend endless hours searching carboots for eclectic resources for children to handle, investigate & explore.  As part of The Curiosity Approach we aim to ensure that environments and children’s play spaces offer a calm & tranquil place to become engaged in deep levels & sustained thinking.

Gone are walls plastered with identical pieces of artwork, directed by adults to create a uniform and cloned “craptivity”.

Gone are windows painted of nursery images, wasted hours that could be best spent interacting with children or allowing natural light to flood through into nursery rooms.


A Curiosity Approach educational setting would be adorned with Authentic resources, wooden items, baskets and a natural tranquil feel throughout.

A carboot, charity or Op shop is an ideal place to find authentic resources and wooden natural treasures. Wooden items are incredibly special and we are extremely lucky to be able to handle, explore and investigate infinitely variable and immensely beautiful wood ranging from wicker baskets to native carvings or exquisite hard woods.


These durable authentic resources offer children the opportunity to experience nature first hand and become connected to our natural world through play. Just as importantly, by recycling and re-using authentic resources we are ensuring that we do our small bit for the environment and prevent these beautiful items going into land fill before their time.

So what are we looking for?





Serving salad bowls


Salad spoons


Massage rollers


African animals

Wooden masks

Trinket boxes

Chopping boards


Wooden carved balls

Curtain rings


Woven mats

Wicker baskets

Mug trees

Bread bin


Jewellery pots

Wooden animals

Serving trays

Spoons, spatulas


So now you have your wooden shopping list for another carboot treasure hunt, keep your eyes peeled for these incredible resources. They adapt beautifully into any room from pre-school to babies. As always you need to do your own risk assessments on all items collected before allowing children to explore and investigate them.

Remember these items are not toys! However, with robust risk assessments and supervision, these many resources will provide endless opportunities for learning.

Be curious, have fun, make a difference!

This article was written by Stephanie Bennett, One of the Co-founders of The Curiosity Approach, alongside Lyndsey Hellyn. We're more than just another consultancy company, together we want to impact on early years. To make a change to the educational system. To inspire practitioners to bring back curiosity, awe and wonder to childhood and to the lives of educators.

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Curious is our monthly publication that focuses on one inspirational ingredient of The Curiosity Approach each month. It opens out into a quality A2 poster, which can be displayed in your provision to excite and inform your team and/or families. We use beautiful imagery from our own settings, to help spark the visual learners amongst us, along with hints and tips on how to bring this aspect to your setting to create exquisite yet practical environments that feed our children's hearts and souls.

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