Do you like new stuff? I love getting new teaching supplies and new books. Especially new books. I have 1000 books at my house. (Well maybe not quite that many.) But I always want to buy new ones. New books just make me feel excited about new stories and possibilities. The same with new teaching resources. I like thinking about the possibilities of what the kids will do with the new things.
This week the kids reminded me of the power of new. We had three "new" things to do - and those were the most popular. They like familiar...but they seem to love new.
I bought some new plastic vegetables, fruit, and breads. Usually I don't use play food, but I decided I wanted to have some - for use occasionally to create different types of learning experiences. The kids really enjoyed using these new toys.
We brought our wooden airplanes. (I bought these a while back at the Target dollar shelves.) While these are not new to me, they were new to the kids. It's the first time I've brought them to the classroom. They enjoyed these, playing lots of different games.
We painted with small shoes. We paint almost every week, but using shoes was a new idea. And many kids explored this new painting activity. (Read more about painting with shoes.)
I've blogged about "new" before. But this week reminded me that "new" is very appealing.
And that doesn't mean that I need to purpose new things every week - have something completely different for the kids to use. They like the familiar and like exploring the same materials in different ways. And that is my challenge. How can I make what we regularly use more "new"? Sometimes a little twist makes it seem new. Sometimes just challenging them to think about things in a different way. (Ask "I wonder" and see what the kids think of.) Sometimes relocating familiar resources in a new place. (Putting paper and markers in the blocks center can generate all kinds of ideas!)
Do your kids like new? How do you challenge them to explore further.