There I was, so proud of my dinosaur find. My Early Years Teacher mind automatically thought of sending them to adventures of epic proportions amongst the children of Townhouse. After a good cleansing bath my new discoveries were then safely left to dry off after their pampering.
Imagine my surprise when suddenly they began to appear over my social network in various disguises and locations around my home. Sudden and magical powers of transformation? No, instead my husband had returned to his inner child. Ignoring my initial thoughts of ‘he needs more jobs to occupy his mind,’ I began to focus on the imagery instead.
It seemed to me that this was a reflection of a unique, symbolic, imaginary world that children create every day from just one simple object, event or suggestion. When you then cascade this from one, (all be it prefabricated!), photograph, to the wonderful, exhaustive, tumultuous, outstanding, environment for children at Townhouse, it becomes evident that there are hundreds of tiny scenarios being investigated by our children every day.
Even as a professional with twenty-five years of experience, it is easy to overlook the learning opportunities that a favourite toy, story, or object has provided children with, when you find it left to be tidied away at the end of the day. A discarded plastic potato, left in the book corner, may actually have spent its day recreating the adventures of Super Potato, rather than being eaten at a family barbeque. Ours is not to reason why, however, it is ours to consider the value of this play for our children.
Children use play to explore their real world and develop new understanding and a wide variety of skills. Two dinosaurs on a motorbike may not have influenced my husband’s development! But for a young child, they would extend their understanding across all seven developmental areas. Ensuring that children’s individual interests are supported, we at Townhouse may not set up each and every unique scenario for our children, but we do ensure that the possibilities we provide, no matter how they are then explored, still have a relevance and importance to our Key children.
Finally, when you look at your child’s bedroom full of toys, instead of immediately tidying up, perhaps ask your little one what they had been doing on their latest adventure.