The most important source for learning about collecting and arranging Invitations for children come from the children themselves. When children are offered interesting open-ended materials, which are thoughtfully combined and arranged, you will see them work in amazing, yet predictable ways.
EXPLORING — Children are drawn to the sensory aspect of materials.
Principle: Look for collections that have textures, interesting surfaces for touching or looking at or looking through, things that make sounds or move in interesting ways. Natural materials are always a good source for this kind of exploration.
ORGANIZING AND DESIGNING — With an interesting, varied collection of materials preschool children will organize them by their attributes or use them in beautiful designs.
Principle: Find collections of materials that have similarities and differences and can be used for sorting, patterning, and designing.
DRAWING — Drawing is a natural medium for young children to express their ideas.
Principle: Regularly provide tools for children to draw and write as a part of Invitations.
READING — Children will thoughtfully study books and visual information related to a collection of props they have been using for exploring and representing.
Principle: Include resource books, stories, photos, posters,
diagrams, and instructions to enrich the use of the materials by offering new suggestions and extensions, and support the development of literacy skills.
Adapted from: Creating Invitations for Learning. Deb Curtis. Child Care Information Exchange. May/June 2004