WOW! Thank you to everyone who participated in this take home kit, and thank you to those who sent in pictures or tagged us on FB and IG. The focus for this kit was "Loose Parts Play" and seeing how each child used their imagination and creativity was truly amazing. Decorating during the holidays is an ultimate Loose Parts activity. We as adults do it every year. While some may choose to decorate the same every year (and that's ok too!) many people take a look at their decorations and find new ways and new places to use them. As was the same with this take home kit. We saw pictures where the loose parts from the gingerbread house were on the wreath, pompoms from the wreath were on the tree, and the trees were decorated with everything! To continue more loose parts activities at home, crafting or just playing, try starting a bin for loose parts. When our children were young we had such a bin, if they had done a store-bought craft kit and there were extra pieces, into the bin it went. Stickers from the dentist, into the bin. "Special" rocks, into the bin! (oh. so. many. rocks.)
Stay tuned, as we are about to announce one more surprise before we take a break for the holidays. We've got some great ideas coming up in January too!
If you missed out on the DECK THE HALLS kit, here are the instructions so you can do theses fun activities at home with your little ones :)
Keep those pictures coming!
LOOSE PARTS Gingerbread House - Brown paper Gingerbread House - Bag of LOOSE PARTS
What are “Loose Parts”? They’re just that! Loose parts play offers materials with no specific set of instructions. Parts can be moved, carried, combined, lined up and cleared away to start again. For this activity, "parts" don't necessarily need to be glued down, put them in a bag so you can play again another day!
When children engage in loose parts play, they gain the skills to think outside of the box, engage in conversations and think imaginatively. They also strengthen their fine motor muscles as they pick up and place small objects. Try using beads from an old necklace, stickers, or sequins, cut up small pieces of ribbon, yarn or tinsel, or try "upcycling" an old craft project by taking it apart and reusing the parts.
- Paper plate
- Green yarn
- Red decorations
Time to create a festive holiday wreath! Using your scissors, snip away at your green yarn to make small pieces (about 3 – 5 cm long). If you do not have green yarn, try using snips of fabric or paper. The colour doesn't necessarily need to be green either. Ask your child what colour they would like their wreath to be! Maybe they have some special purple paper that they would like to use! If you would like to venture outside, you could even take small snips from pine trees to use (just be sure it's from a tree that you would be allowed to snip from).
With your glue and Q-tips (our kit included white "school" glue, but any glue will work), place small dots of glue all around your paper plate.
Using your “pincer fingers” (the thumb and first finger) pick up the short pieces of yarn and place them on the glue. The pincer grasp, which babies and children (and adults!) use to feed themselves, lays the foundation for a strong pencil grip!
When you decide you have enough GREEN on your wreath, decorate it with the RED
decorations. While children are creating, this leads to conversations about different
colours in a natural manner.
Build UP a Tree!
- Background paper - Green and brown strips - Loose coloured paper - Decorations - Glue and Q-tips
This tree is yours to create! What will it look like? How many layers will it have? How will you arrange the branches? Do any of them need a trim? What kind of decorations will you create?
This picture is from a few years ago when we did this activity in-person at the resource centre. I loved how even though the children were side-by-side, no two trees turned out the same. Each child had their own idea of what their tree should look like.
The possibilities are endless when you give a child the materials and allow them to create their own original art. Perhaps you have something at home that you would like to add to your tree creation? Maybe you picked up a sticker when you went to the store and you have been saving it for something special! Maybe you have some leftover supplies from another project. Feel free to decorate with whatever your have available.
There were also a few printable worksheets included in the kit. If you would like the PDF's or just more information about these kits or other things happening at AAFRC, email: firstname.lastname@example.org