Homeschooling – making the most of what we have

We have been thinking hard about how to best use our house and garden to give the boys exciting and beautiful play experiences, whilst holding to our family values of protecting the environment and using what we already have. A dear friend kindly lent us a copy of the book –The Curiosity Approach , and we have been inspired and had such fun creating different play spaces for our little ones. As primary school teachers ( only CC is currently working, I am a full time carer) we understand the importance of play and experience to the child, indeed for the young child ( under 8 years old), play is the only way in which they can learn fully. Providing children with warm, inviting, varied and real play environments allows them to learn with all of their senses and delight in using authentic objects with which to play and learn.

This week we set up a grocery shop where we gave them a large selection of real food, foreign notes ( we would have used coins but we have a child under 3) and tactile baskets. Today we enjoyed playing in a dressing up store, inspired by one of my favourite TV programmes as a child – Mr. Benn. Here we gave them a small selection of clothes with as many different textures as possible, wool, cotton, silk and felt, dressed the area with a real antique mirror and palm, and lit the play space with fairy lights. We have all enjoyed playing in these spaces and had such fun setting them up !

Meanwhile, in the garden, we have been making the most of what we have available- a baby bath has become a sandpit with a potting tray as a cover and a miniature garden has been made for our 14 month old to explore with real seeds, compost and a selection of metal and wooden tools. We have made tissue paper butterflies to hang in the trees and raided the Christmas decorations box for bells to chime in the breeze. CC and our 4 year old made a planter together using bits of wood found in our shed and he has loved planting it with his own choice of colours and textures, as well as sowing a packet of ‘creepy crawly’ seeds. We have been lucky too in our found freebies, a play kitchen which we have placed in the garden to be used as a mud kitchen and a delightful little watering can we spied in a skip on one of our daily walks.

We have had such a lovely week exploring together and are looking forward to getting the chance to discover more.

All of this play is thirsty work…

A sand pit in a baby bath
A garden for a toddler
bells and butterflies
Our dressing up shop
An improvised greenhouse cover from an old pram cover
A shelter made from willow cuttings and a large sheet of weed barrier we found in the shed

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