Updated: Oct 4, 2020
A wall, a piece of wood and a wooden peg doll.
When you look at this image what do you see? It looks quite simple on the surface, but the deep thought processes that went into willing this little part of the little ones imagination into play is beautifully complex and only able to come to fruition because of the nature of the open ended resources available to her.
When she picked up the piece of wood and began to rest it against the wall, she started the process of problem solving and early maths, not only finding a piece of render to place the wood on as it was sliding down the smooth brick, but placing the wood at the right angle so it was able to be a ‘slide’. Social skills were present as she chatted to her little character, moving it along the top of the wall, before it went on the slide. ‘Weeeeee’ it said as it slid to the bottom.
Open ended toys which leave room for the imagination are the corner stone of play in Steiner Waldorf early childhood education. Should I have given the little one a toy slide, a prefabricated set, she would not have had the same opportunity to will such complex processes into being, to experience cause and effect as a whole process of her own making and to experience the magic of living through imaginative play.