open-ended play with household items
This is just a short, little post with an important message: Never underestimate the potential for play in the simplest of items. My husband came home from grocery shopping the other day, and tossed me a sleeve of brightly coloured kitchen sponges, and said “I picked these up for a dollar. I thought you guys might be able to use them for something”. He’s such a great guy.
My wheels started turning, thinking about all of the things we could do with them, but it was getting late in the day and there wasn’t enough time left to get all artsy-crafty so I decided to simply present them in a basket, to the hooligans, to see what they would do with them.
First of all, you should have heard the ooohs and ahhhhs when I placed the basket on a table in the playroom. You would have thought I’d filled it with candy. It’s so great when kids get excited about something like this. There was no question that THEY could see the possibilities that this basket held.
All hands were scrambling to grab as many as they could, and the basket was quickly emptied, and they headed off to do what they do best.
For the next hour, these sponges were the main attraction, each child playing with them in their own way. I took a few photos to show you how they were being used.
They became “beds” for the animals.I’m not sure what exactly was happening here, but it looks like they were being used as obstacles for driving the cars around.And at the end of the day, the last little hooligan to leave tucked them all into the dollhouse.
There was also pretend scrubbing of toys happening, which I didn’t photograph, and they each rubbed their hands and faces with them, describing the scouring side as “scratchy”, “rough”, and the soft side as “squishy”.
I’m sure we’ll use these sponges for various arts and craft projects in the weeks to come, but for the next little bit, I think we’ll just keep them in the toyroom, and enjoy the open-ended opportunities for play that they provide.