Create Your Own Treasure Trove

Building a reuse and recycle station with open-ended materials

Let us welcome you into our centre at Guardian Point Cook!

Our Reuse and Recycle station at Point Cook North has been a work in progress. Over the past few years, we have added to it gradually and it is now an amazing resource library for educators and teachers to access and use with their children, adding complexity and igniting creativity.

Children are encouraged to use open-ended materials to create (such as a building or even a face with features), with each child’s work being and often looking unique, reflecting their individual thinking.

This way of environmental design deeply supports access to materials to ignite children’s curiosity and creativity and encourages children to revisit and add to previous learning and knowledge. Playing with and exploring these materials promote children’s thinking around light and shade, size, shape, texture, mathematical and scientific concepts, literacy learning and supports children to share their thinking and bring their ideas to life.

At Guardian these materials are introduced to children in considered ways, risks and children’s access is assessed. Time and space are valued as children are supported to explore and investigate these materials safely.

Families at home can create their own collection of open-ended materials without having to go too far. Using items from around the house and in the garden, will not only give these materials a new lease on life they also become a meaningful and purposeful piece of equipment.

Have a look at what materials you have at home and start to gather! Some ideas may be; buttons, wrapping paper, cardboard tubes, fabrics, stones and pebbles, bubble wrap, boxes, cellophane, old cards, lids, offcuts of wood, ribbon, wool, tubing, PVC piping, papers and materials that offer various textures and even jars.

All of these materials can be used in multiple ways and support the children to really dive in and use their imaginations and creativity. Anyone can create a collection like this and once you do, you will be amazed by the learning that emerges!

To learn more about Loose Play at Guardian, click here to visit our blog.

From Casey Mildenhall, Teacher and Multi Site Educational Leader

Sign up for our latest news and information