New Dimensions in Play
I remember hearing in an ECE course that a 2-3 year old classroom could look a lot like a 4-5 year old classroom. If you offer the same materials to a two-year-old, s/he will interact with it differently than a 5-year-old. But if they are preschool-appropriate open-ended materials, both ages will use them and be likely to benefit from the experience. Open-ended materials allow children to construct their own uses of playthings and build on what they've learned from previous experiences. They expand on the way they used to use toys, and bring their developmental progress into new dimensions in play. The children at Beansprouts have been elaborating on the conventional uses for things and thinking out of the box. Their play is a reflection of the developmental changes that continue to emerge. Watching the creative and analytical process that goes on during play, and overhearing the in depth conversations that ensue, can be inspiring and uplifting.
Not only did they discover the use of Magna Tiles on the magnetic board...
They became 3D!
And quite elaborate
Airplanes and vehicles
Reading books...with the eyes shut! (A popular story, possibly guessing what she'll see on the next page?)
Masking tape pirate beards (there were also "bandaids" and elaborate--graphic-- stories about why they needed them).