One of the things I didn’t anticipate about blogging was how many awesome friends I would meet through this website. Today I’m excited to be starting a Fall Invitations to Play series with my blogging buddies from My Nearest and Dearest, Buggy and Buddy, Play Trains, and Twodaloo. I know you’re going to love it! For the next five days we’ll all be sharing a simple invitation to play that you can set up for kids. By the end of the week you’ll have tons of new ideas for some seasonal fun and learning!
What are Invitations to Play?
You may be wondering what I mean when I say “invitations to play.” Basically, the idea is to present kids with materials that allow for open-ended play based on the kids’ interpretations and choices. Play invitations do not have a specific intended outcome, but they can be designed to help kids practice specific skills like fine motor control, story retelling, and more.
For a more thorough description and ideas for creating your own invitations to play, read the thoughts of the experts. These are the sites that have inspired me most in regards to invitations to play:
- Creating Invitations to Play at The Imagination Tree
- An Invitation to Play Tutorial from Teach Preschool
- Setting Up a Reggio-Inspired Activity by An Everyday Story
Today’s Fall Invitation to Play
FIND ALL OF OUR APPLE ACTIVITIES IN OUR PRINTABLE LESSON PLANS
FOR HOME PRESCHOOL AND PRESCHOOL CLASSROOMS.
Invitations can be very simple or they can be elaborate. This two-ingredient sensory bin was one we set up in the morning during our apple theme. It’s as simple as can be, but the kids loved it! You can also provide scoops and small containers to go along with the bin.
- split peas
- red glass beads
Ways Children Might Use the Materials
Below is a brief list of skills kids might practice using these materials. However, as I watch kids interact with new invitations I am always impressed by their creativity in using materials in ways that I may never have thought of. This kind of free exploration is one of things I enjoy most about invitations to play.
- Sensory Exploration
- Measuring Capacity
Now that you’ve seen today’s invitation to play, head on over and see what the other members of the series have planned for you. And don’t forget to look for tomorrow’s new invitation to play!
Cinnamon Maple Salt Tray by My Nearest and Dearest
Fall Felt Trees & Leaves by Buggy and Buddy
Play Dough Pumpkin Patch Train Play by Play Trains!
Pom Pom Apple Picking by Twodaloo
GET A FULL WEEK OF APPLE THEME LEARNING AND PLAY
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and we’ve provided different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.
This set includes active hands-on learning ideas and the following printables:
- Apple Number Cards (0-35)
- “Counting Apples” emergent reader
- “I See Apples” emergent reader
- Apple Letters (uppercase and lowercase in both red and green)
- Apple Life Cycle Cards (in color and b/w)
- Label the Apple Diagram (in color and b/w) with labeling cards
- Apple Pattern Cards
- Put the Apples on the Tree Game Mat
- Editable cover and pages for a class apple book
GET YOUR LESSON PLANS
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