Jewellery Box Play


 Working with children for a few years now I’ve come to realise that real equipment often has far more appeal for little ones than plastic toys.  When I saw this jewellery box for sale on a Facebook selling page I knew it would be a hit, all those compartments and drawers to explore!  I decided on this occasion to keep close to its original purpose and added some treasures for the children to explore with the box.  These were treasures in the eyes of children and included buttons, decorative glass pebbles, craft gems and some other decorative rocks – nothing actually meant for children!  I also added a mirror to compliment the small mirror in the lid of the jewellery box.


Sometimes when I set up an activity like this for very little ones (2 year olds) they seem to struggle to know what to do with the resources.  Although there is no specific way in which the resources can be explored, sometimes I set the activity up with ‘hints’ of the ways in which the resources can be combined.  This seems to give the children an opening to explore.  They tend first to add to what is already set up, before finding their own ways to explore.


 Well it’s been popular all week and the children have had great fun exploring.


As predicted they just loved all the drawers and compartments!


Working together.


Pushing buttons into the ring holder.


Working out how to fit the drawers back in.


The mirror also received some attention….


…. they seemed to particularly like the sound the resources made when placed onto the mirror.


What really surprised me was how much child-led learning emerged during the activity.  I realise that children learn during activities such as these, but I suppose what I mean is that the learning I saw was what I would normally try to encourage within an activity, but usually the children seem to do their up most to ignore me!  This time was different though, the learning was all led by the children and they were genuinely interested.  When K showed me a pink button, together we named the colour, he then added further pink buttons in different shades.


As the buttons were proving particularly interesting I moved them over to the larger table so all the children could explore.


They experimented with stacking…


and then K noticed a tiny button.  He seemed fascinated with this and searched out other tiny buttons from the pile.


R was engrossed with forming the buttons into a line….


K joined in.


The button lines then accidentally got messed up, but luckily toddlers don’t bear a grudge!
They set about forming new lines and R decided this one was a snake!


K’s interest then returned to the jewellery box.


He seemed determine to master the lid.  I showed him how it opened and he could unfasten the lock with both hands, only this didn’t leave a spare hand to lift the lid!


He then set himself a new challenge of trying to shut the box.  This required him to follow a specific sequence of shutting the top lid before lifting up the side panel.


Of course it wasn’t long before cars were added to the table!


At some point during the afternoon the jewellery box became a garage / car park!


As interest remains strong in the jewellery box, I think it may form part of our continuous provision for a few weeks.

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