Free play

Carolin Asks:

I have been reading you work on the area of having puzzles, games, beads etc. out in bins for the kids to practice with before we can sit and do as a group.

I find there is always one child that starts off well but then it ands up a throwing game and the rest follow.

I do change out the bins regularly, eg. pom poms, them sorting blocks, but they loose interest and start just dumping and throwing. Any ideas to get them to stay a bit more focused. They are between 2 1/2 to 3 years old.

Miss Cheryl says:

Your little ones are certainly in that "fill and dump" stage at these ages! I have 3 suggestions that may help.

1. I would suggest having the materials out in small groups with supervision.

2. You might want to limit the amount of materials in each bin. For example, rather than having ALL of the plastic chain links in a bin, only put 12 of each color in the bin. In a small group of 4 children, they would each have 12 links to use.

3. You may already do this. Limit the number of choices of bins that are available each day. They may be too young to have 4 bin choices (for example) at one time.

Provide 2 bins instead and increase it as they become more familiar with the materials.

Another thought is that they may be ready for more formal ideas on how to use the materials for sorting, counting, patterning etc.

What other ideas do you all have to share about this topic? Reply Below!

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