Thursday, June 29, 2017

Texture Balls

So, I drool over those ceramic sand balls--such pretty designs and so aesthetically pleasing! I really like the sets that Montessori Restore designs. She is great at creating loose parts sets, typically on the higher end, beautiful, and carefully curated.  She is very intentional and up cycles many items and works with great artists for others. Take a look at her work at her Etsy shop or her Facebook page.

As much as I like her work (and there are varied prices), I am typically a DYIer on many things and haven't wanted to spend the money on one of the sets, though I think they would be a beautiful decor/loose parts/zen garden arrangement, making a creative and inviting statement in an office or a coffee table.

People in my Loose Parts Play Facebook group have been asking about these and wondering about different ways of doing them. I thought I had a great idea to use those decorative balls you put in a basket. See my results toward the end of the post. I found some at a garage sale and thought I could splurge on a few dollars to see how it turned out. If I didn't like it, it's a loose part and can be used in many other ways, or return to decoration status. I'm not sold on those (though the curly cue was cool!), so they will most likely get jumbled in with our loose parts. Someone else suggested textured pet balls that could give variety.

Someone suggested these Infantino Textured Balls. Thanks, Amanda M.! Currently, it's less than $8 for a set of 6 balls. Honestly, at first I thought these were infant toys (and they probably are), but now I am seeing all the possibilities! Check out the textures of these in the sand! I think I'm hooked! Plus, they are kid safe as well, if that is a concern.

After we went inside, my son wanted to try them out in our play dough. These are pretty cool! I enjoyed exploring with them and my four year old did, too! I can see these being used in many ways besides just the textures. They'd be great in a treasure basket or just for throwing around. The colors and textures make them unique. 

With the play dough out and natural loose parts, he started exploring the texture of natural items more as well. I'll call it loose parts for the win!

This was my try at using "decorative" balls and such. It's okay, but not that great. If it works out for you or you have another suggestion, give us a shout out! 

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