How to Recreate Explorations at Home! (Pssst…it’s easy!)
Did you read the previous post? If not, you’ll want to go back and take a quick peek to get all the details about Explorations before we dive into recreating it. Long story (or blog post) short, Explorations is an unstructured creative time for children to use raw materials that you provide, without restrictions. The things children pull from their imaginations when they have no rules are mind blowing. I got to observe a first grade class participate in Explorations recently, and it immediately made me want to recreate it at home for my children, regardless of their ages.
I had started a similar creativity kit several years ago, when I had a 2.5 year old and baby sister on the way. At the time, I was looking for activities my toddler could do independently while I nursed the baby or was generally unable to provide as much hands-on time. Little did I know that ‘Explorations’ had so many benefits, for everything from fine motor skills to emotional development, and with Mrs. Kirkpatrick’s lead, I was excited to beef up my kit!
If your children are like mine, they have plenty of coloring books, a million of those irresistible sticker books from Target’s dollar spot, and crayons galore, but Explorations is even more free spirited than that. For example, instead of a coloring book with guidelines to follow, you could provide blank paper, or better yet, scraps of leftover paper in varying shapes and sizes. The idea is to provide raw materials and then allow the children to create whatever comes to them, in an uninhibited way.
Materials for Explorations don’t have to be (and actually shouldn’t be!) expensive. Found items from around the house like empty paper towel rolls, leftover fabric swatches, wrapping paper, and buttons could be included. The few things I have purchased for my kit are from the Dollar Tree. (Sorry, not sorry, but I love that store.) Also, your materials don’t have to take up a lot of room. I store my Exploration Station (catchy name, right?) in a plastic shoebox with a lid. Everything is easily contained and small enough to store under a bed or in a hall closet.
My materials change constantly but here are some ideas of what you could include:
- Paper- this doesn’t have to be a fancy construction paper pad, think about all the paper in your home such as scrap computer paper, mail, wrapping paper, etc.
- Fabric – scraps from a sewing project, or even pieces from old blankets or pillows you were throwing away.
- Buttons- Hooray! Something to do with all those buttons that come attached to every shirt I have ever purchased and have never even thought about using.
- Foam pieces
- Googly eyes (Always a big hit. Always.)
- Popsicle sticks
- Stapler (Be prepared to supervise your child depending on their age/skill level
- Washi tape
- Pipe cleaners
- Beads (Supervision is key here, depending on the age of the children in your home.)
- Hole puncher
- Blocks or legos (Explorations doesn’t have to be a craft project, there are tons of things children can create with blocks or lego pieces)
- Fuzzy pom poms
- Yarn or ribbon
- Coloring supplies like crayons, markers, colored pencils
- Paper towel or toilet paper rolls
- Paper plates
There are no rules for what you can or can’t include, so think outside the box! Do you have a creativity kit at home? What do you include in yours, anything we missed? Visit us on social @islandprep and tell us!
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