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Inspiration needed for our new discovery area


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Hi all

I have attached a picture of our new 'open ended play' area. We are hoping the children will use the area to do lots of creative play (making up stories, transient art, patterns). A bit similar to Atelier.

The children are beginning to use this area but need guidance on what they can do. But we are looking for ideas that we could use to make the area look more inviting and 'fun' to draw the children in, particularly the younger one.

Or, do you think an area like this will just not work with 2-4yr olds.

Any advice most welcomed :1b

post-35585-0-88486300-1422994489_thumb.jpg

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If you want to encourage use i would try and enclose it a little more to create a communication friendly space. There are a couple of ways to do this...you can peg opaque materials to the roof of the structure and then move the 'trolley' to one of the 'outside' walls at right angles to the door on the left side of the photo. There is often a tendency to shove everything to the sides of a room but this tends to create 'dead' zones(it also means the children can get to the lovely blackboard area) Carpets are tricky to write/draw on so maybe some clipboards or cushions and a low level table?

I can't quite see what resources you have on offer but this may be a case of trial and error to see what encourages use. The best resource of course is an adult to encourage use ...they may well stay there for longer if you offer a few cushions too....i find it difficult to sit for long periods on hard floors, but then i'm getting old!!!!

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have you thought about adding pieces of piping or half-pipes or a election of cardboard tubes? what about logs for building and stacking, pieces of material, pegs and bull dog clips (larger plastic type). items that could be rolled down the tubes - cars, large pebbles or similar? Is that a chalkboard behind the shelves? I would be tempted to move the shelf unit to the left side so the children can access the mark making area.

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Hi you may well find this area will evolve and change as children explore whats available.

Have you asked the children what they might like in there.

I agree about moving the trolley to enable access to that lovely board.

Have you looked at the Early Excellence website. Looking at other sites to give inspiration and then buying cheaper elsewhere is often what we do.:)

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Perhaps you could also think of how children can show or display creations. Adding cameras to our atelier brought lots of children in as they wanted to use the cameras, but now enjoy using the area. Lots of modelling and some photo examples also gave the children with less confidence an idea of what they might do there.

 

I agree with others about having the area evolve: add things, take them away etc to keep it exciting. Pinterest is great for inspiration.

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sorry to hijack, but can anyone explain the term "atelier" as I have never come across this before. Many thanks

It's French and means 'workshop' usually in the fine arts. I came across it in several schools where they used the term atelier to label their free art areas, particularly relating to small items/loose parts etc that can be used and reused in different ways. I have shelves with old frames, felts, fabrics and lots of bowls of loose parts from natural materials such as pinecones and pebbles, to bowls of glass nuggets, jewels, bottle tops etcetera.

 

So that's what it means to me, though could be wrong ;-)

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It's French and means 'workshop' usually in the fine arts. I came across it in several schools where they used the term atelier to label their free art areas, particularly relating to small items/loose parts etc that can be used and reused in different ways. I have shelves with old frames, felts, fabrics and lots of bowls of loose parts from natural materials such as pinecones and pebbles, to bowls of glass nuggets, jewels, bottle tops etcetera.

 

So that's what it means to me, though could be wrong ;-)

thank you, that makes sense.

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thank you, that makes sense.

Normally in early years it is more commonly linked with the reggio emelia approach to creativity...meaning an art studio located in a central position of the setting offering lots of opportunities to discover art and to develop skills and creative thought

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