Getting Started with the Project PLAY Packs
…so you have become a member of the Project PLAY community and are keen to use the Project PLAY Packs with your toddlers and preschoolers but are unsure of where to start! Mummas, I have you covered with this blog, and I think you will be pleasantly surprised to see getting started will be much easier than you had thought.
The Project PLAY Packs are a growing bundle of thematic resources created to support you in boosting daily play at home with ease, intention, and confidence. They are designed to help with:
- bringing a variety of early learning skills into play in the home
- offering learners opportunities to dig deep and extend their learning, similarly to that in a project (making connections, deepening knowledge + understanding over time at their own pace)
- building moments of quality PLAY time together into the daily routine and
- celebrating these moments of PLAY with happiness and joy!!
Keep it Simple!!
Try these 5 steps to see what works best for you and your little learners.
- Start simple – use minimal furniture and resources to set up your Dramatic Play Centre, Craft space and/or Scavenger Hunt area. For example, when I first started Dramatic Play Centres, I used a Flisat table, chairs and a set of Trofast frames to serve as a benchspace. I included a few props and laminated printables to create a sense of authenticity and invitation to PLAY. These were items of furniture and props we already owned and had used in our playspace. The printables were a new addition to the learning experience.
Remember you don’t need to use all the printables found in the pack…you may just start with a few of the word cards and the banner.
- Choose a theme that your little learner is already familiar with – by choosing a familiar theme you are setting up a space that your little learner will already have background knowledge about. Your little one can draw upon life experience to explore their new Dramatic Play Centre. I recommend starting with the Scavenger Hunt or our newest set Tea Party Time!!
- Schedule Block Time in your daily routine to look through the Project PLAY Packs – setting up a chunk of time to look through the Project PLAY Packs and the types of learning experiences included gives you an opportunity to see what suits your little one’s interests best, what resources you may need to add to the ones you already have and an idea of how you want to set it up in your play space. Preparation is going to be your best friend especially when planning for play ahead of time and starting with Project PLAY Packs. Check out our daily PLAY Planner in your daily PLAY Plans – this is a great way to write your thoughts and ideas down and provides an easy reference for when it is needed.
- Batch It!! – a strategy we suggest all our members embrace when setting up for PLAY. This means to collect your resources all together ahead of time so that you and your little learner can get started with the play. This saves time and potential unnecessary disruptions during a learning experience which is often when our learners find something else to play with.
- Experiment with the way you present the Project PLAY Packs – start with setting up the Dramatic Play Centre, Craft Space or Scavenger Hunt in the way you think will work best and watch – observe your little learner in play, what makes their eyes sparkle, do they invite you in to their play, look for patterns and trends in their learning and then build from there eg, add more word cards or labels to the props etc. If one set up doesn’t engage your learner in play, try setting it up in another way, eg. Use different furniture and/or different props.
Remember that you don’t need to complete all the learning experiences in the Project PLAY Pack if it doesn’t fit your life…you can pick and choose what works for you best and revisit the missed ones later.
Don’t forget you can also jump into the Project PLAY FB Group and use the hashtags to ask for further support.