Experimenting with play

I keep being so inspired by blogs and websites I’m reading about learning through play, invitations to play and open ended play. So I keep experimenting with new play ideas especially with the open ended play and invitations to play.



I saw this idea on a website ages ago (can’t remember the site, sorry). We bought some plastic shot glasses and I wrote letters on the bottom. Now I know J is too young to learn his alphabet, but I think it’s handy to start showing him the letters. And I hoped these would be a long term toy (I was wrong). The website I saw this on also made a light box from an upturned plastic see through box with fairy lights in side, it was then fun to look at the shot glasses with light underneath them. But I didn’t do that. J found these shot glasses fascinating, but because he could crack them!! He did have fun for a little while stacking them and watching them spin.

I wonder if I’m just being a bit too advanced with trying out these ideas.

But we did have success with our tactile box.


I filled a box with loads of different materials. We used bubble wrap, a mosquito net, wadding, cotton, pipe cleaners, and plastic bags, wrapping paper and cardboard.


He loved playing with all the different materials. One of his favourite was some wallpaper folded over and over and we used it like the percussion instrument the guiro. He walked round our flat for ages with the mosquito net, putting it over his head and walking on it. I think he found it strange that it was so slippery.

I also tried out some invitations to play, using all the different blocks I had in the house.


I used some left over wallpaper from J’s room which has a map on and put the bricks on it. I set it out whilst he was asleep and then he came and played with it when he woke up. I can’t say it was a roaring success, and I can’t say that he played for hours. But when he walked into the room he was stunned to see it. He was so intrigued so see it set out.

I’ve now bought some ball pool balls so I’m gonna try out some ideas with them.

A lot of open ended play seems to involve water play and sand play. But we live in a flat, so sand play I’m not sure we can do (any ideas?). I bought a step which means he can now play in the sink and he has wanted to do that every day since buying the step. I take him to stay and play groups so he gets to play with sand there, but would like him to have a go when he’s not being pushed out by older boys.

I’ll keep trying and I’ll keep thinking of and researching new ideas. I totally agree with these principles and I’m enjoying thinking of new things we can do together.


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