Connecting early learners with nature and the environment is central to our programming. We are continually looking for new ideas to bring the outside in and vice versa. This grass box has been well-loved even in the winter months. Children are naturally drawn to plants and things that are alive. Many come to play at the grass box for extended periods of time. There experiences are open-ended as the materials we intentionally use can be used in unlimited ways.
In this grass box we used number mushrooms and fairy houses. The mushrooms are made out of door knobs that were painted with acrylic paint. We used qtips to make the numbered dots on top for a mathematical play opportunity. We added the fairy homes simply because they are well loved and our early learners are drawn to them. They enjoy putting them in and out through imaginative play. The fairy homes are made of repurposed hot chocolate mix containers. We stripped off the label and hot glued red fabric with padding underneath it to make it puff up. We hot glued white fabric dots on top and cut a hole in the container and voila! A fairy house in under 5 minutes. In this box we have used tree cookies that are blank. We have a variety of tree cookies in our learning environment with letters, numbers and words as well, but this time we tried blank ones. We have used fairies, people, and smurfs in the past, but this time we put in our native Canadian animals. We often add rocks and pine cones as loose parts and see what unfolds as our early learners take ownership of their new provocation. We are getting used to be surprised every time as our early learners add in amazing materials that transform the play into a something totally new.