10 ideas to use a recycled pallet in your Early Childhood setting
Are you curious to see lots of different ways pallets have been used in and around our settings?
Did you know that “around the world it’s estimated that around two billion pallets are used every day, and that’s not counting the ones lying around depots and factories awaiting reuse or recycling“?
It’s not surprising then, that pallets are the basis of many projects that make use of the material.
Helping sustainability and recycling.
* Please remember that some pallets may be unsuitable for use*
* Risk assessment is essential. Check before use.
Images are from a number of different settings.
At The Curiosity Approach® our aim is to create powerful rich play spaces for children, whilst looking beyond catalogues and furniture specially marketed at Early Years settings. We look to recycle, reclaim a rescue old furniture or items that can be transformed into practical and safe equipment. This isn’t. about switching the brightly coloured nursery furniture in exchange for wooden items, it about thinking how we can save money, our budget and saving the planet too. How we can we create incredible Early Years environments whilst being sustainable too.
Please remember that before using a rescued pallet it is always important to risk assess and check for. Any splinters broken wood, residue or stamp marks. Here is a useful link to help you select and assess which pallet you use in your setting:
1. No effort Play Dough station.
When you look carefully there are many pallets available that require no DIY skills at all, they can be used as wonderful low level play dough stations.
At The Curiosity Approach® we remove all the chairs in the children’s play spaces, we feel it is important to allow children to move and access the whole room freely, without the restriction of chairs. By having pallets as low tables, children get to sit or kneel on the floor, sit on cushions and to feel grounded. Developing core strength and those important gross motor skills.
We look to move away from the institutionalised feel of a formal school classroom and create spaces and places that inspire children to play.
2. Bug-Ingham Palace
Nature is hugely important to us at the Curiosity Approach® and we love helping children observe and explore our natural world. To help create spaces for bugs and insects to have a home, we use stacked pallets to create a bug
Pallets when reversed provide great shelving for any Early Years Atelier, they offer a great place to store pens, pencils, paints and all those art materials. We ensure that art materials are available both inside and outdoors, this provides children with resources that are easily accessible and close at hand.
4. Outdoors art resource shelving Need somewhere to stack and stand your paints and paint brushes? An invitation for children to get creative outside, why not up cycle a pallet
5. Sensory Kitchen
Instead of a mud kitchen, make a sensory kitchen instead
6. Shelving for all those authentic resources, herbs and natural resources. An ideal addition to your sensory kitchen
7. Balancing wall
Using guttering and drain pipes to roll ball, cars and loose parts down the ramp
8. A cosy area for sitting to read a story, add a cot mattress for seating, cushions and a throw
9. A play dough station
10. Low level loose parts table
Pallets are versatile and useful and if carefully crafted and created can make inexpensive furniture for your setting. At The Curiosity Approach® we look to be sustainable, saving the planet and your pocket too.
We have many great downloadable resources and we have created a beautiful magazine for Early Years settings
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Written by Stephanie Bennett
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