Megan Fraser shares the third story in her series about the introduction of a Natural Pod Play Loft into her child care space. Enjoy!
The advent of Spring and the warmer weather have been beckoning to us to linger outside just a little bit longer (we really only come inside to sleep). As such I have noticed that our loft has been sitting empty most of the time. I wondered if this was perhaps an opportune moment to add a little something to invite the children back in. I have further noticed that the children rarely use the space below the loft and so I decided to add a small rug in the hopes that this might add to it’s appeal as a cozy space for them.
It’s funny how a simple little change is noticed so quickly and how it can inspire and spiral play and learning in entirely new directions. The children were drawn in almost immediately. They crawled in and around, laying, rolling, resting, rubbing against the rug. They lay on their backs, feet in the air, exploring from a new perspective. They playfully peeked at each other and hung from the sides, swinging “like a monkey”, they said.
The way we arrange our spaces and the materials we provide can be provocative and powerful. They can invite and inspire. They can send messages that we may not have thought of or intended. I’m reminded to take a step back, look and re-look, think and re-think. How will I continue to create a space that invites and inspires? Are the materials that I am offering to children reflective of and aligned with their needs and interests as well as my beliefs about children and how they learn? Are they beautiful and respectful? Do they lend themselves to creative play? What little change can I make today?