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The No toys approach to play

So . . . . . .

  • Do you notice how often children find enjoyment in their exploration of what seems to be the most simplest of resources?

  • Spend long periods of time absorbed in playing with your pots and pans

  • Find plastic shop brought toys limit your child's creative thought process and you need more for them

Then consider a No toys approach to play -

Open ended resources often allow children the freedom to explore and be curious about whatever it is they want to be curious about in whatever way feels right for them. There is no set agenda or outcome, there is no right or wrong way to play, to explore in whatever feels right to them at that particular time. How affirming for a young learner to not be restricted by a certain way to use resources but to have the encouragement and confidence to marvel in their ideas, their creations, their own ways of being.

We as adults can provide the provocations for learning and we also have the mesmerizing task of watching the many different ways our young learners engage, explore, question and respond to such resources.

Young babies for example are absolutely doing all they can to make sense of the world around them, they are constantly questioning . . . . . . How does this work, I wonder how I can use this, I wonder what happens if? Not necessarily in the verbal question sense but they are using all their senses to ask these questions and make sense of what they know.

You may have also noticed the sand pit at the play hub, (I know kinda hard to miss and you probably end up with half the sand over your kitchen floor when you get home) but an older child may be fascinated with pouring and filling, making cakes, recalling and building on their knowledge and experiences, whereas a baby

might be much more interested in the sensory aspect - how does it feel, on their feet, in their hands and often their month. It might feel cold and unpleasant at first touch. No right or wrong way to explore just different approaches depending on the child, their knowledge, experiences and preferences.

A no toys approach to play is about giving back the power to our children, by doing this we say . . . . . I believe in you, I believe in your way of doing things, I want to understand your thinking, I trust you, I trust you can make decisions and when you're unsure or need some help/support or you need an extra pair of hands or you just need someone to wonder with, I am here. Here for you always.


Still intrigued to know more visit our website to book onto the No toys training session in November 2020

Take a look at this powerful video which gives voice to the numerous ways our young people are learning-

Hundred languages by Loris Malaguzzi


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