SMASH, CRUSH, DESTROY! How to use a mortar and pestle in your sensory play!

I could not talk about messy play without mentioning mortars and pestles.   This has to be one of my favorite messy tools for indoor play. Children love pounding and mashing.   This harnesses the natural childhood schema of transforming - changing the state of a...

MUD PLAY!  How to set up a simple, movable mud kitchen

Have you considered putting a mud kitchen on your playground? If so, I would like to share my two cents worth.  Consider a movable mud kitchen. A simple movable mud kitchen provides children with the raw materials to create whatever they can imagine.  It is open-ended...

The Magic of a Light and Projection Provocation: Brilliant!

I had to share this fabulous provocation from Rosa Parks Early Childhood Center! Whoever thought of showcasing light onto the table? Genius right? A few years ago, Fairy Dust Teaching gifted pocket projectors to Rosa Parks Early Childhood Center (They do not have...

How to Introduce Loose Parts With Infants and Toddlers

Let’s face it, infants and toddlers are experts at tinkering. What better materials to tinker with than loose parts? Loose parts are essentially any open-ended material that can be used in a variety of ways. Introducing loose parts to infants and toddlers can be...

MUD PLAY!  How to set up a simple, movable mud kitchen

Have you considered putting a mud kitchen on your playground? If so, I would like to share my two cents worth.  Consider a movable mud kitchen. A simple movable mud kitchen provides children with the raw materials to create whatever they can imagine.  It is open-ended...

The Magic of a Light and Projection Provocation: Brilliant!

I had to share this fabulous provocation from Rosa Parks Early Childhood Center! Whoever thought of showcasing light onto the table? Genius right? A few years ago, Fairy Dust Teaching gifted pocket projectors to Rosa Parks Early Childhood Center (They do not have...

How to Introduce Loose Parts With Infants and Toddlers

Let’s face it, infants and toddlers are experts at tinkering. What better materials to tinker with than loose parts? Loose parts are essentially any open-ended material that can be used in a variety of ways. Introducing loose parts to infants and toddlers can be...

Rosa Parks Early Childhood: A Glimpse into their Rooms

Rosa Parks Early Childhood Center is filled with such wonder and awe. From the teaching staff, to the children, to the thoughtfully planned rooms, to documentation filled walls, and much more. I wanted to share just a glimpse into the overall rooms and share some of...

7 Must Read Blog Posts for Teachers

We had to take a moment and thank you for following Fairy Dust Teaching and engaging with all of our posts! We wanted to look back at 7 of your favorite blog posts over the years and include them RIGHT HERE to simply click on and be inspired all over again! 1. DIY...

Pegboards: Brilliant Ideas for Organizing Loose Parts

How do you use a pegboard? PEGBOARDS! Yes! It is not just for holding tools anymore; it is a great tool for teachers as well! They are such a space saver and not to mention an inexpensive way to store many different materials and loose parts in your classroom. You can...

Restoring the Importance of Woodworking and Young Children

“I’m strong! I can do hammer by myself. See? This is going to be the bridge for we all build together.” -3 year old boy at Rosa Parks Early Childhood Center. I walked into this classroom after the FIRST MONTH of school to find children in engaged in every center...

Storytelling with Loose Parts: 3 Inspiring Provocations

Storytelling with Loose Parts! Yes! This is really where magic happens! I’m a big believer in the power of Fairy Tales to deepen our curiosities, creativity, and love of reading. Setting out invitations or provocations with loose parts to dive deeper into questioning...

5 Paint Invitations to Embrace the Explore Stage

The explore stage is something we need to keep talking about. In a previous post, I talked about the explore stages of clay. Today, I want to share 5 paint invitations that really helped me embrace the explore stage of paint. Conversation Tip While Painting The one...

16 Ways Loose Parts Can Ignite Curiosity

Loose parts and authentic play experiences for children are two vitally important initiatives at Fairy Dust Teaching. Many administrators and supervisors question whether loose parts can meet any academic objectives.  Today I want to share some inspiring invitations...

Loose Parts: Let's Play With Metal

Metal Loose Parts! Our last type of Loose Parts in this blog series. If there’s one Loose Part that really engages every child through building, creating, inventing, exploring, and more, it’s metal! From magnet exploration, to big tin cans that clink to make music, to...

Loose Parts: Let's Play With Packaging Parts

Packaging Loose Parts are typically known as the recyclable parts. They tend to be FREE! Cardboard boxes, paper towel rolls, and egg cartons are just a few of these multi faceted Loose Parts. Packaging Loose Parts Bubble Wrap and Packing Peanuts reused from shipping...

Loose Parts: Let's Play With Ceramic and Glass Based Parts

Ceramic and Glass Loose Parts are those unique materials that don’t often get into the hands of children enough. From glass beads to ceramic tiles to prisms, there are many opportunities for children to explore, build, and create with. A Loose Part can become...

Loose Parts: Let's Play With Fabrics

Fabric Based Loose Parts add such an artistic dynamic to explorations and creations with children. From fort building in construction, to weaving, to dress up, and so much more, the possibilities are endless when it comes to Fabric Based Loose Parts! Fabric Based...

Loose Parts: Playing with Plastic!

"The child, making use of all that he finds around him, shapes himself for the future.” - Maria Montessori Plastic is one of the best Loose Parts when it comes to Recycled and Repurposed Items. These are items that most any family can help and donate as they’re taking...

Loose Parts: Let's Play With Nature!

Nature Based Loose Parts! My favorite! Between going on walks with your children to find these treasures to watching how children reconnect with nature, nothing beats this. (Not to mention FREE!) Pinecones and sweet gum balls picked up from walk. Wood cookies cut from...

Loose Parts: Let's Play With Wood Reuse Parts

Wood Reuse Loose Parts are used all around the classroom. From using big old chair legs as ramps to balancing corks on a tower to using wood frames as a backdrop for designing in art, Wood Reuse Parts are multidimensional! Wood Reuse Loose Parts Reused golf tees...

How Unique Storage Solutions Reinvented My Atelier

The atelier is one of my favorite spaces to set up when getting the third teacher ready. But, one thing that can be tricky is figuring out unique and accessible ways to display your materials in the atelier for ease of access for children. Today I’m going to share...

7 Must-Have Books In Your Atelier

“A True Artist is Not One That is Inspired, But One Who Inspires Others.” ~ Salvador Dali Inspiring children to be creative and express their curiosities about the world with the language of art materials is magical! While there are so many truly inspiring books about...

Clay: Don't Forget the Explore Stage

I think many times when it comes to material introduction, we jump to the "create and make stage" yet forget the explore stage. Yes! The magic and wonder of the explore stage is crucial! The language of clay! It’s different from playdough. Clay comes from the earth....

Hopes and Dreams featuring The Orchard School

Wow.  I love how social media connects us.  The Orchard School in Plano, Texas saw the hopes and dreams project for families on our Instagram and brought a new spin to it. They made a Faculty Hopes and Dreams hanging! Something that would be incredible if we all did...

Going Beyond Cupcakes: Reggio Inspired Birthday Traditions

Birthday Traditions are an important component to celebrating children in your class. A birthday tradition celebrates the day with a special tradition rather than food. It goes deeper than the cupcake and engrains from an early age the importance of celebrating one...

 3 Steps to Creating a Hopes and Dreams Display

One of the most meaningful family projects is the Hopes & Dreams Display.   This is a visual piece displayed all year long in the classroom.  It holds the hopes and dreams of the families for their child in your class. There are basic 3 steps to creating a Hopes &...

How To Make A Family Chandelier In Your Classroom

“Our job is too difficult and too beautiful to do alone.” -Amelia Gambetti, Reggio Emilia Family Chandeliers are one of my favorite connections to do with families at the beginning of the year. Today, I want to give you a step by step guide on how to make a family...

Guest Post: How can I create a collaborative school culture?

Written by Chanie Wilschanski DiscoverED Consulting   I was chatting with a director a few months ago about school cultures. She was sharing that she feels her school goes through phases of different environments and cultures. I thought about what she said a lot and...

3 Must Read Books When Preparing for Self-Portraits

I wanted to share with you three books to inspire children during the creation of self-portraits. TIPS for using these books: Read a couple pages per day and focus on a unique trait or aspect of self Explore a medium - using our creativity to find objects to represent...

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