Baby Boo Blog

Baby Boo

Towers and Bunting

6 August 2020

At the beginning of March 2020 I ran the 2nd of a planned series of 6 workshops aimed at professionals working in Early Years settings – Towers and Bunting.

Towers –   Build it up and knock it down!

A tower of cardboard boxes and sponge blocks

Bunting – Connect and decorate.

Create new spaces to play in.

In this session we branched out into working as a group, construction requires many hands.

“Can you pass me the tape?”, “Just hold this, will you, while I fix the other end?”, “How far will this ribbon reach?”  We also shared questions such as ‘What about…? ‘, ‘Do you think this will work?’, ‘How high? ‘, ‘Is it safe?’ ‘Is it strong enough?’  Designing on the hoof and putting our heads together.

What emerged was an evolving structure, constantly changing, improving and deteriorating by turns. In different phases the structure presented new ideas for interaction, new spaces would appear, a draped cloth would become a cosy space, is it a castle? Or a laundry? A gateway? or a wall? A shrine or a palace? So many possibilities…

It was interesting that there was no overall plan at the beginning, just begin and start adding and adjusting. So, there was no feeling of achieving or failing to achieve a pre-set objective. This is the essence of play, many things were achieved, objects lost their everyday function and became open to new interpretation.

We adults rarely get a chance to play in our everyday lives and it can feel quite awkward to put ourselves in such a situation, but as time went on the initial shyness disappeared and the fun of creating took over.

” It was very liberating to realise there was no judgement of my skills and to be able to experiment freely.”

” I found the activity really absorbing, the time flew by. “

Construction Play at Home

We were very lucky to have the big space of The Boo’s theatre to play in and lots of big boxes and tubes to build with but it’s also a great activity to do at home.

Play with objects is believed to make significant contributions to children’s physical, social, and cognitive development. Manipulation of small objects gives children the chance to practice fine motor skills, and play with larger loose parts involves gross motor skills.

The Power of Play – A research summary on Play and Learning by Dr Rachel White*

*Dr. Rachel White earned her doctorate in Child Psychology at the Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota. Dr. White’s research focuses on how children can benefit from play and imagination in early childhood. Research for this paper was collected in 2012.

A couple of sheets, blankets or even a coat draped over two chairs makes a great start, the kitchen is full of good tower building objects; tin cans, cereal boxes, plastic cups, pots and pans..etc

Creating a new space to play is the starting point for stories and games, there is suddenly an inside and outside, who is inside? who has come to call ? can they come in? In my next blog I’ll be investigating story telling in more detail, so see you then !

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