Plastic should be recycled and when it can’t be recycled, let’s repurpose it. Early childhood educators are really good at repurposing and re-visioning random materials that would normally end up in a landfill or floating out to sea, and then become a food source. I imagine this as “land locking” plastics by putting them to good use at the school.
So we use the lids of bottles imaginary play food, hidden treasure to find, pieces to build with, or to push into clay. We repurpose whole bottles as bottle babies. That is just the plastic stuff! Last week, I found two bags of silly bands at the thrift shop. With my 20% discount card, I purchased these two bags for less than three dollars.
I viewed these simply as what they are — interesting-shaped and colorful rubber bands. They were a B-I-G fad only a few years ago and that day has passed which is why I found two bags at the thrift shop. I thought, sure, these will be more fun than just plain rubber bands for play.
And they were.
“What do you have?”
The children shared and laughed as they called out what the bands were or what they thought the bands were (and mostly they were right). I say that because I could only figure out some of them. You can always tell how successful something is by how much talking happens and how long the play goes on. If your goal is to offer some kind of activity that exercises finger articulation this is something that plain old rubber bands will give you, but these silly bands…this extended the play and shaped play that could take flight!