Have you seen all the posts about people making treks to car boots to kit out their nurseries?
Why are they doing this? We are proud to say that following on from our car boot videos, hints and tips at The Curiosity Approach – the interest in car boot sales has gone crazy!
Car boot sales provide an ideal source for authentic resources.
What is an authentic resource?
It’s something ‘real’ adult sized. Something children can use to replace plastic manufactured, gender driven toys. Something adult sized. The real deal, AUTHENTIC!
Items like –
Stainless steel tea pots, milk jugs & sugar bowls
Crockery tea sets that add value to children’s play. Opportunities for risk taking and responsibility.
Children learn respect for equipment, deeper levels of engagement as their play takes on a new dimension and offers extensive possibilities for learning.
Children’s self-esteem blossoms & florists as adults trust children to handle the ceramic crockery tea pot and lid. Taking care to hold their finger on the top as they pour the contents.
Ceramic eggs, wooden bowls, wicker baskets and coasters.
Dishes, bun tins, kitchen utensils. Wooden artefacts. Adult shoes for dressing up. Hats & waistcoats. Dressing table ornaments. Vintage telephones. Old cameras & mobile phones.
Nik Naks & little pottery houses and much, much more.
How many of you, have wonderful memories of being curious & inquisitive about the ornaments on the display cabinets at Grandma’s house? Desperate to touch, handle & explore?
How many of you spent hours adorning your mum’s shoes, pearls and floppy hat?
So why is it, in so many traditional nurseries, we feel the urge to supply children with ‘child sized’ replicates of the real thing?
Supplying them with catalogue purchased equipment – specifically designed to meet the needs of a generalised cohort of children.
All manufactured using the same plastic materials, that sadly all feel exactly the same. Using bright primary colours, unrealistic to the real life that we are trying to encourage children to act out.
Our children look up to adults, look up to their parents as role models.
Through their play, they act out past experiences, practice skills & make sense of the world. Relationships, interactions and the complex issues of forming friendships.
So why is it, we give them the tiny polka dot tea sets – with Elsa from Frozen embossed on the side?
Doesn’t this give sub conscious messages that, they are doing is only pretend? That, what they are acting out, during role play, is sadly only a GAME !!
Children live in the moment, in the here & now. They take phenomenal pleasure from re in-acting out real life, real stories. Acting out the characteristics & mannerisms of people who are important to them!
So why are we under valuing its importance and purpose, why make out it’s JUST a silly game that’s not worthy of anything special beautiful or real! Not to be taken seriously!
Plastic, gets scratched worn and tatty. Plastic gets flung, dropped & discarded. Plastic toys are a manufactured design which supplies a mass market of parents, carers & nurseries. Generalising children into the brackets of those who cannot be trusted to handle ‘Real resources’, materials of beauty, eclectic design and individuality.
Why are we misled to believe children cannot handle crockery, glass or breakables?
The reason being, when children are using plastic tea pots, plates and role play resources they regularly get dropped.
Children know they can throw it across the home corner – because it won’t break or shatter. It bounces, it’s OK – nothing will happen!!! There are no consequences.
With plastic, children don’t have opportunities to experience activities at a slower, more focused pace. To take time, care and to play unhurried, un-rushed and with purpose.
With authentic materials – everything slows down. Everything is quite thoughtful. Care & attention is given because children understand that things may get broken, chipped or smashed.
They are thoughtful, gentle, careful. Engaged & focused. They become mindful. Understand about responsibilities!
Opportunities to earn trust, to be proud of themselves and appreciate that adults respect them, seeing them as capable and confident learners.
Self-esteem blossoms and they feel incredibly proud of themselves to be given such responsibility. How incredible is this?
Here are just a few reasons to join the car boot craze.
Not to mention it saves pounds on purchasing resource and in these challenging times – every penny counts.
This article was written by Lyndsey Hellyn, One of the Co-founders of The Curiosity Approach, alongside Stephanie Bennett. 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.
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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