I recently read Beautiful Stuff!: Learning with Found Materials by Cathy Weisman Topal and Lella Gandini for my ECE Art Class and fell in love with the idea of using recycled materials for enriching play and art with children!
I gathered some of the materials that we didn't use while exploring the contact paper and set it out for our playing with junk challenge. Here's what I set out for little c to explore:
This is some beautiful stuff!
- Paper grocery bag ripped into large pieces
- Paper towel tube cut into various sizes
- Yellow paper cut into strips
- 2 yellow cookie cutter stars
- Orange cardstock cut into circles
- 2 large orange plastic rings
- all set in the cookie packaging seen used as a water toy here.
dumped the stuff out of the container. ripped the paper. smashed the tubes. mouthed the tubes. held the small star in both hands. mouthed the small star. looked at the small star. smashed the plastic container (he really enjoyed this for a while). crinkled the strips of paper.
I sat back and watched for the majority of the time. He seemed so focused on the materials. He would look up at me from time to time and I would comment on what he was doing. I'm trying to find a balance between talking too much that it interrupts his play and not talking at all because I don't want to interrupt.
We both had a great time. I love setting materials up for him and watching him interact.
This is a learning process... for the both of us!