Creative Resources for Children and Parents


     In our progressive approach to early learning, the learning environment is intentionally prepared to encourage the development of children's imagination, problem-finding, problem-solving and reflective thinking.  So important is the learning environment that it is considered to be a "second" or "third" teacher.  The children interact with materials and activities that are chosen for their open-ended quality.  The more "formed" or predetermined the "toys" and materials, the sooner children loose interest.  The more open-ended the "toys" or materials, the more space there is for the children's imaginative powers and engagement to emerge.


Teachers facilitate children's play by creating spaces and selecting materials, while the play scenarios are child-initiated. Our school materials are multi-sensory in nature, and many come directly from nature.  Some are referred to as "loose parts," and are included in the indoor & outdoor learning environment.  Indoor learning spaces are kept filled with children's work and spare beauty.  Heavy dependence on commercially prepared materials that cover the classroom walls is limited.  Here are some perennial favorites that parents, educators and children have identified as engaging and worthwhile investments:

  • Boomwackers- tuned percussion instruments, C Major Pentatonic Set

  • Sound Shapes (nesting drum set) - West Music, Remo SS-1000-05 Sound Shapes Circle Pack


  • KEVA Planks - open-ended maple building blocks


  • Peaceable Kingdom Cooperative Board Games - 12 individual games available


  • GONGE - creative movement learning props


  • Bilibo - Swiss designed, hard plastic "seat" with endless uses in child-initiated play scenarios

  • Wooden Block Sets - provide endless building possibilities and opportunities for language development and visual-spatial learning, either individually or in groups

                                                     Lots of LOOSE PARTS

  • Sand, clay, mud & water with lots of containers, scoops & funnels

  • Tobaggans - plastic or wood for pulling, loading, sledding or building

  • Log slices, scrap lumber, wood saw horses, wooden platforms, wood spools, straw bales

  • Squares of different textured fabrics, buttons

  • Sticks, shells, nuts, pinecones, stones, bones, feathers, leaves and other natural wonders from the animal, plant and mineral world