If you are feeling a little unmotivated to setup play spaces and activities for early learning or just need a few new ideas for your program, I have all the inspiration you need with this list.
You'll find 10 of my most popular play spaces and activities for early learning listed further below and ready for you to scroll through collecting ideas as you go.
If you are a Member hub subscriber you also currently have access to over 300 playful learning activity guides sorted into age groups covering 0 -12 years, already linked to learning areas and ready to add directly onto your program here.
Repurposing and reusing tyres in outdoor play spaces is not only fantastic for limited educator and parent budgets but also helps play a small role in protecting our environment – tyres take a long time to break down in landfill so why not try and reuse them and create something useful instead if we can.
In my Empowered Educator Community on Facebook we have many hard working members who regularly share their outdoor play areas and projects with us.
On The Empowered Educator website we love to highlight the fantastic work educators do and feature a collection of some of the wonderful ideas that have inspired us in the community – I hope by sharing they also inspire you to perhaps try something different in your early childhood environment or backyard.
I love finding inspiration and new ideas to repurpose wooden spools and cable reels into new equipment for play.
They are a material that with a little creativity and thought can be turned into something that invites play, imagination, social interaction and more for just a few dollars!
A sensory table tends to be a well used piece of equipment in most early childhood services and with good reason! They provide so many opportunities for children to explore and engage with their senses and although they are traditionally filled with either water or sand they can also be used with many other materials that encourage sensory exploration and processing.
Have you ever tried using a story bag , basket or prop box to help you share a story with young children?
If you sometimes get frustrated trying to keep a child’s attention while reading stories why not try making this time a little more playful and interactive for those short attention spans and put together a few story bags that you can use over and over.
Easy Slime Recipes
I’ve collected 5 of my absolute favourite DIY slime recipes in this post for you to try – these are the ones I have used over many years with my own children and also while working with babies and toddlers in both early learning centre and Family Day Care environments.
They only require a few basic ingredients and the children can usually join in the process of making the slime as well.
Using Open Ended Materials In Outdoor Play
There are no rules or expectations for how a play item must be used, no specific steps to follow, no right or wrong way, no ultimate goal to reach or achieve.
Creating engaging , welcoming and playful learning spaces for babies and toddlers is just as important as setting up environments for older children.
However, I know that sometimes this is easier said than done and educators can struggle to find the right balance between offering an environment that is developmentally appropriate and yet still allows for both security and basic care needs to be met alongside the freedom of exploration as they challenge and extend upon new skills.
This post gives you simple tips, strategies and ideas to help you set up spaces for 0-2 years.
Setting up invitations to play (which of course leads to learning) can be a simple way to ‘prompt’ children to play in different ways with different materials.
It can offer children the opportunity to direct their own play, follow their interests, learn more about the world around them, express themselves creatively and use their imagination to extend upon the initial invitation.
You'll find more early learning environments & activities shared by Early Childhood Educators worldwide in out FREE group. Join us HERE.
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A Little About Me
Jodie Clarke is an early childhood professional supporting educators who want and need to stay passionate about the work they do! She has 30 years hands-on experience in the early childhood and human services sectors across many different roles.
Jodie is mum to 3 in Australia and has already helped thousands of educators with their work through her popular blog posts, activity ideas, online training and e-books.