Thursday, 15 August 2013

Pinterest and Pretty Shells

I confess, I am a teeny bit addicted to Pinterest.  If I have the time, I can spend hours just browsing and pinching ideas - baking, art, other home ed plans.  And ever since my Lakeland catalogue flopped through the letterbox with its jam-making goodies on display - making me think inevitably of autumn and beyond - I have even found myself browsing for Christmas ideas!  You see, yet another of the fabulous things about home education is that for us, our pace of life is so idyllic, compared to many - we get to do all the little crafts and things that I always wanted to do but never had time for before... so my Pinterest board is now nicely filling up with Christmas ideas and other fun.

I was having a little browsing session the other day, when up popped a recommended board.  I'm not sure how the recommendations work to be honest, but I don't really care - it was such a lovely post that it grabbed my attention immediately, and I just had to share it here.  It was called 'Invitations to explore, create and play with shells".  Those who are familiar with the Reggio approach may well be familiar with this concept, but it was the first time I had heard it put like that: an invitation.  Not written or verbal - just the act of putting the enticing treasure out was an invitation to play.  There were no instructions, no diagrams, no guidance at all: just the provision of some shells and other equipment, left in a place where the children concerned would find them and let their natural curiosity and creativity take over.  Read the post - you'll see! There is also a really good link on their page to follow for further information on "Invitations to Play", which although quite purposeful in its methods, reminded me of the joy to be found in "strewing" - a not dissimilar approach to stimulating young minds.  Anyway it all prompted me to get out our own hoard of seashells this morning.  I put them out on a tray with several sheets of A3 paper on the kitchen table while the boys were occupied elsewhere, and just started playing myself, arranging them in different designs...

Mummy's "Crab"

Mummy's "Snowman in the Woods"

It wasn't long before Youngest twigged on that Mummy was in a different room, and came to see what I was doing.  I didn't say a word, he just hopped up onto the bench and started playing.  Eldest came next, then Middle - and very quickly all three boys were having a go.  Eldest didn't stay long - just made a couple of pictures, and then disappeared off...

 Eldest's "Narwhal"

Eldest's "Snail" 

Youngest quickly deemed his masterpiece to be finished and went after him, no doubt hoping to be allowed to play Star Wars lego with Eldest.

  Youngest's "Shell Mania" (his title)

Middle however was engrossed for considerably longer, and made a picture with Mummy.  Not that he needed my help - he was just enjoying some one-on-one time, being creative together.

 Middle's "Crab"

 Middle's "Crown of Shells"

  Middle's "Turtle"

Middle and Mummy's "Under the Sea"

So thanks Pinterest, for however you came up with that inspiring suggestion - and for the fact that alongside all my lovely new Christmas ideas, we were given a lovely seashell moment, reminding us that summer's not over yet!


  1. oooh lovely ideas! We have shells - we could try this - but I hadn't thought of it before!thank you x

    1. hooray! Happy to inspire... have fun :)