Monday, September 24, 2012

Keep it Simple...Children will Make it FABULOUS!

Sometimes, simple is better.....MOST times, simple is better!

The other day, as a way to make a station last one more day, I removed ONE component, and replaced it with another.

The original station:  colored toothpicks and plastic salt shakers.

The exchange:  sliced pool noodles (yep...the simple, pool noodles available for $1 at the Dollar Tree, cut into slices like you would slice a baguette) in place of the plastic salt shakers

The results:  FABULOUS!!!

The initial play resulted in a LOT of Birthday cakes!

See the learning?  Jack is counting how many "candles" are on his birthday cake!  Did I ask him to do this?  Nope...the
conversation amongst the children led to them counting the candles on his cake....ALL LED BY CHILDREN!

Finally, it happened....someone built UP.  Buh bye simple birthday cakes!

Through trial and error, Gavin learned that his stairs (on the left) needed a support (on the right).

When is the last time you felt this proud?! 
Feeling success and pride help children feel safe to TRY NEW THINGS!  Erik will try even harder to achieve other tasks such as zipping his coat, putting on shoes, writing his name all because of this little boost to his sense of pride!

Opportunities that have no right or wrong, no rules, just freedom help build confident and creative children!  Creative children can solve problems, manipulate materials and invent new stuff!

A tongue out is a huge compliment to the absorbancy of the activity!  Ethan is clearly 100% absorbed in what he is doing!


Side note:  This piece of "FABULOUS" was created at a "Let Them Play" training event presented by my co-author, Jeff Johnson and myself.  Notice the addition of smaller pool noodle pieces.  Simply cut the sliced pool noodle into pieces (like a pizza)
Give children simple materials, time and freedom so they can turn SIMPLE into something FABULOUS!


  1. We have done this with cut up pipe cleaners. Just as fun and adds some twist to your sculptures. You can also make circular shapes then. I love pool noodles - wish they were sold year round.

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    2. I keep trying to reply to this, and it doesn't appear to be working! THANK YOU SO MUCH for adding in your ideas and things that have worked well for you! I GREATLY appreciate it and love networking with others! Idea sharing is my favorite past time ( of them anyway!) :)

  2. One more idea to poke into pool noodles - Autumn floral arranging