Slippery Fish and other Ocean Life.

I found this flannel board at the Thrift Store the other day for 2.99.  So we set up a bit of an ocean exploration in the toddler room.  

 That big shark in the fore front is hollow and has teeth, so they have been shoving things down it's throat because of course it's hungry. The hungry fish idea comes directly out of the song, Slippery Fish.  I love how toddlers connect dots.  They used their knowledge of the Slippery Fish song and built upon it and played hungry fish games. 

 They have also loved the turtle family.  Two big ones, a medium size one and the well loved baby one. I also put out a Mother duck and some babies along with Eric Carle's book, 10 Little Rubber Ducks.

 My challenge as an educator is to not place any agenda on the invitation.  I wanted to include a mix of toys, books, loose parts and nature and allow the children to do whatever they want with the items.  If the items end up in another area in the room, at clean up time we re-invite using the materials that are in that area.  This is working for the toddlers and for us as staff.  It's a good, low stress system for programming and clean-up!

For more reading on Loose Parts check out this blog post.  

For me the theory of loose parts is an attitude to how children play.  It is an acceptance that children may use what is in their environment and make their own choices about what to do with it.  Materials do not have to be displayed or stored beautifully, they simply need to be there. -quote by Rachel McClary

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