Many child development professionals rely on research and personal experience to guide their work in supporting children to achieve their full potential.
In the UK we have Pre-School and Mandatory Education system guidelines on what subjects and areas of development should be covered together with milestone and key indicators.
Elsewhere in the world other learning models are used, there are many names and research studies extolling the virtues, benefits, drawbacks – except one: Self Directed Imaginative Play with Found Materials.
Scrapstores around the world and particularly in the UK ensure that children are able to have a rich and varied diet of textures, colours and types of materials with which to feed their imaginations. For those of us old enough or poor enough you’ll no doubt remember days spent creating dens and imaginary worlds with things you’d found; you may even remember how rare it was to have toys with construction and play instructions.
Fortunately like all good quality things imaginative play has never gone out of fashion and is accessible to anyone regardless of age, culture or social status.
We along with many other professionals believe that children allowed unstructured play opportunities (over those who were given set instructions and outcomes) helped improve their:
- Communication skills
- Creativity and problem solving
- Team working and collaboration
- Ability to explore textures and colours
- Willingness to experiment
Many Scrapstores have play rangers and can offer workshops and training events to help support these outcomes.