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While holding a swimming pool noodle in my hands, I realized that it represented an object that could be explored with children.
Safe to useI really like swimming pool noodles. They are colourful, flexible, and lightweight. They are also inexpensive and they can easily be cut to create noodles of different lengths. Furthermore, their rounded shape makes them perfect for children of all ages (supervision required since very young children can be tempted to bite them).
Encouraging creativity, exploration, and imitation gamesTo begin, I suggest simply depositing the noodles on the floor to introduce children to them. You can cut them into pieces using a knife (away from little fingers).
Let children explore the noodles as they wish. Help them develop their creativity by asking them simple questions. For example, you can ask them what the noodles remind them of and encourage them to find ways to use them.
When I first introduced my group to noodles, they had fun dragging them around. Slowly, children began using them to play. Among other things, they became swords and sausages being cooked over a pretend campfire.
They were also used for massages and as tiny rollers in manipulation bins.
Provide ideasOf course, I encourage you to provide ideas while leaving room for children to express their creativity. Here are a few ideas:
Use your imagination!
Chantal MilletteEarly childhood educator
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