Last week I posted that I wanted to use unusual items in one or more of the centers. I thought I would add some rope light to the blocks center, because of this post on Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds. But I didn't have a chance to pick up the rope light.
I looked around my stash and saw a new colander (that I picked up at Target in the dollar shelves - I love and hate those shelves!). An idea that I saw on TinkerLab popped into mind, so I also grabbed some chenille stems. I placed these in the blocks center. (But I was determined that I would not suggest what to do with them.)
The boys built for a while - and totally ignored the items that I had added.
Then one of them held up a chenille stem and asked, "Can we use these?" I answered yes. The word spread among the boys: "We can use these." A couple of them asked me again to make sure it was okay. "You can use them. That's why I put them out," I said. "You can also use that bowl." Whispers among the boys again as they repeated that they could use the bowl/colander, too. And they did.
I asked about their building and they told me that they were making a "baby bird house." The colander was there so the baby birds would not fly away.
A few girls ventured into the blocks center and began to create with the chenille stems. "I'm making a swing for the birds," one girl said.
At one point, a few tools from homeliving was also incorporated into the baby bird play. (Sorry, no photo of that.)
Lots of fun experimenting. And some of the stems were pushed through the holes of the colander.
I love the stories and creative ideas that were flowing among the kids as they worked. I'm definitely continuing to experiment with this concept.