The idea of invitation to play, or invitation to create, is fairly new to me, but I have been trying it out over the summer. I have been setting something out for my kids to find in the morning. Sometimes I leave out a game or puzzle that they have not used in awhile as a way to encourage them to explore it again. I don’t ask them to play with whatever I leave out – if they are interested, they play with it, otherwise it is left untouched. The other day I left out a cardboard sheet with a few houses that I quickly made from paper. I also left out a bunch craft supplies to give them some ideas.
This ended up being a really successful invitation to play! I was amazed by what my kids created. They painted the cardboard green for grass and some paths brown. They were excited to tell me about every part of their “Little Town”.
They used some cups that I set out to create a Treasure books store, complete with a character. I think if kids have an idea of what they want to create, they will be able to use any materials available to them to create it.
Wiki sticks were a great alternative to hot glue. My favourite part of their completed invitation to play was the playground that they created. I was really impressed by what they created from a very simple idea to start. I will certainly be using more invitations to play in the classroom and even more at home. I love to see what is a hit… and learn from what is a miss.