The United States House of Representatives Child Care Center serves approximately 70 children from 10 weeks-5 years old. Rather than buying new materials, their program director Paige Beatty contacted The Resource Exchange looking for reclaimed and salvaged objects for a teacher workshop on play for their staff, based on the book From Play to Practice: Connecting Teachers’ Play to Children’s Learning by Marcia Nell and Walter Drew.
Teachers were provided with a wide variety of reclaimed materials purchased from our center, as well as several other DC area creative reuse centers. They were invited to select one material and spend about 20 minutes playing with that material. Later in the workshop they had the opportunity to play in groups with multiple materials. They reflected individually and in large and small groups about what they could take back to their classrooms and apply to their work with young children.
Everyone really enjoyed having affordable “new and fun” materials available to explore.