Friday, September 11, 2015

Loose Parts Play Quotes

Here is a collection of loose parts play and PLAY quotes I collected recently. Which resonate with you? 

“In any environment, both the degree of inventiveness and creativity, and the possibility of discovery, are directly proportional to the number and kinds of variables in it.”    
Simon Nicholson
“Children learn most readily and easily in a laboratory-type environment where they can experiment, enjoy and find out things for themselves.” 
Simon Nicholson

“A ‘loose-parts’ toy, as Nicholson defined it, is open-ended; children may use it in many ways and combine it with other loose-parts through imagination and creativity . . . Nature, which excites all the senses, remains the richest source of loose parts.” 
Richard Louv

“Nature is imperfectly perfect, filled with loose parts and possibilities, with mud and dust, nettles and sky, transcendent hands-on moments and skinned knees.” Richard Louv
“The natural connections children make to formal learning through the use of open ended and naturalistic resources should be a motivation to all adults to ensure that these are freely available to young children both indoors and outdoors.”
Eric Erickson
“Play is the highest form of research.”
Albert Einstein

“Play is our favorite way of learning.”
Dianne Ackerman

“Almost all creativity involves purposeful play.”
Abraham Maslow

“Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.”
Fred Rogers

“A child loves his play, not because it’s easy, but because it’s hard.”
Benjamin Spock

“The playing adult steps sideward into another reality; the play child advances forward to new stages of mastery."
Erik H. Erikson

“Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn.”
O. Fred Donaldson

As astronauts and space travelers children puzzle over the future; as dinosaurs and princesses they unearth the past. As weather reporters and restaurant workers they make sense of reality; as monsters and gremlins they make sense of the unreal.

Gretchen Owocki

Which are your favorite loose parts and play quotes? I'm getting ready for a presentation and would love your feedback! Do you have other favorite PLAY or LOOSE PARTS PLAY!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Approaching Fall Guide--Lists of 5!

The Michiana Summer Guide was popular, so I thought I'd put together a few items for fall that may be of interest. I encourage you to also check out the Natural Calendar of Events that I host on Inside Outside Michiana, as there are many neat nature activities in the area.

A few things we like doing as fall approaches . . .


1. The Pow Wow up in Dowagiac is super cool! We love the bright colors, ceremonial dances, and fry bread.

2. Heritage Day at Bonneyville Mill is always a tradition for us! See information on the September 12, 2015 celebration here.

3. Check out Owl-o-Ween at Gene Stratton Porter's house. We had lots of fun! If you don't want to make the drive, Woodlawn Nature Center will have a Creatures of the Night Festival on October 10, 2015. Also, check out El Bosque Encantado through Merry Lea.

4. Go back in time! We really enjoyed Stone Trace in early September. The prices were inexpensive and there was plenty to see and do. Take a walk in the past  Gathering at Five Medals is October 17 and 18, 2015. It's always been great as well.

5. Holiday at the Mill is a fun time to get ready for the holiday spirit! It's usually early in November.

Holiday Activities: 
Halloween Nature Fun is a great way to look at the natural side of the holiday. Hosted at Woodlawn Nature Center in Elkhart. Check for other seasonal activities.

Halloween Hayrides at Oxbow--I don't have a blog post about this, but we've gone several years, even before we lived up here! Be sure to get your tickets early in the day as they will sell out. There are corny jokes on the hay ride, yummy treats, and decorations as you walk through the trails.

Check out natural holiday decorating ideas from Linton's. This was a fun class! Woodlawn Nature Center is hosting a class in early October.

Fall Activities:
1. Go apple picking at Kercher's or another orchard. See our 10 Reasons to Go Apple Picking.

2. Visit a fall activity area. We have enjoyed Knollbrook Farm and Pumpkin Patch for several years.

3. Go to a nature center! Visit Kalamazoo Nature CenterFernwood in Niles, or Woodlawn Nature Center in Elkhart. All are great places to see as the seasons change. A "preferred" membership from Woodlawn Nature Center offers reciprocity to these other great places! Pair your visit with a program and a hike.

4. Go camping! I love the crisp weather of fall for a bonfire and sleeping in a tent! Woodlawn Nature Center is hosting a very reasonably priced family campout in September. Preregistration due by September 13.

5. Take a fall hike! We really enjoy Lieber Nature Preserve in Bristol. We also had a great fall walk at Wellfield Botanic Gardens. This is a perfect place to snap a few seasonal pictures, too! We stopped one evening when we had on costumes, making it even more exciting.

Try it at Home: 
1. Try using leaves as part of your art or play. See 11 Ways to Play with Leaves.

2. Build fine motor skills with Pumpkin Pounding and other pumping decorating. 

3. Go on a fall flower hunt! See our Ideas for Fall Flower Hunts.
4. Fall is a harvest time. Start collecting seeds and pods. See 20 Things to Do with Seeds, Acorns, and Pods.

5. Spend some time with trees! Check out this popular post about the nature preschool program at Woodlawn Nature Center.

You might also enjoy the Summer and Winter Guides as well! 

By the way, we absolutely LOVED the Maker Faire in Fort Wayne! In 2015, it was in August. Watch for it next year. Regional tinkerers shared their love for creating things. I could see the creativity level of my children soar!