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Ways to Play - Paint Chips

Ways to Play - Paint Chips
I’m a huge fan of using versatile and open-ended toys and materials in kids’ activities, because they truly leave much up to the imagination and creativity of how you want to utilise them to enable play and learning. So I’m really excited to be launching this blog series on “Ways to Play” where I’ll spotlight one open-ended toy or material in each blog post, and showcase the different ways you can play with it!

We are starting with an old-school favourite - Paint Chips!

What are paint chips?

They are essentially cards showing colours or a range of related colours available in a type of paint. You can get these cards usually for free, from a hardware store.

Now, not every country or every hardware store gives out these paint chips freely. For one, in Singapore, it has proven quite difficult to get my hands on a substantial number of paint chips to be able to carry out meaningful activities. So, I’ve created paint chips of our own, and you can download them for free here!

So let’s get into it! What are the ways to play with these amazing versatile materials? Here, we show you 18 different ways of playing with them which span across 13 different skills and learning abilities!

Calm Down Corner - A Positive Tool for Regulating Emotions

Calm Down Corner - A Positive Tool for Regulating Emotions

In our guide on Creating Effective & Inspiring Play Spaces (you can download it for free here), we had briefly introduced our calm down corner. Amazingly, I’ve had so many questions (a barrage really!) from parents on our calm down corner, so I thought I would spend some time talking about how it serves as a positive tool in regulating emotions, and how to create one!

Do also read through our blog series on Respectful Parenting (click for Part I, Part II and Part III), a calm down corner is very much in line with Respectful Parenting principles.

First, a little backstory...

We set up and introduced the calm down corner to our boy T back in Dec 2018, when he just turned 3 years old. I’ve heard about calm down corners (sometimes known as peaceful corner, chill-out corner, quiet corner) for a while now, but truth be told, was never truly bothered to set one up. T is a relatively gentle and mild-mannered boy, he didn’t have much tantrums – they were mostly short emotional outbursts which were really easy to manage and seemingly only occurring at home (never in public). I honestly thought my husband and I had this in the bag!

When he turned 3, coupled with the news of a 2nd baby coming and me being pretty much out of it (nauseous, exhausted) and not able to spend time with him like I usually do – he started throwing 30 mins (at least) long meltdowns. Sometimes they go up to an hour. They were triggered by the slightest things and could happen anywhere and everywhere.

(Updated!) A Peek into Our Play Spaces at Home!

(Updated!) A Peek into Our Play Spaces at Home!

When I first got pregnant with our boy, little T, 3 years ago, I was pretty lost on how to modify our house (essentially designed as a couple pad) into a baby-friendly home. I scoured through tons of amazing photos on Pinterest for inspiration, followed some moms on Instagram to peek at how their homes look like, and started reading up on play spaces.

Why are play spaces so important?

"There are 3 teachers of children: adults, other children, and their physical environment." - Loris Malaguzzi

 

I decided to put together this simple yet comprehensive guide on Creating Effective & Inspiring Play Spaces (download it for free here!) as a one-stop shop for everything you need to know about play spaces, so you don't have to scour through the internet for information like I did!

But first, I wanted to provide quick peeks into our own play spaces at home, and how we went about creating these spaces!

We live in a typical 1,100 square feet (or 100 square meters) apartment in Singapore, with a balcony, living room fused with the dining room, a kitchen and 3 rooms (master bedroom, kid's bedroom, study room). When assessing the areas in the house to incorporate play spaces for T, we were very sure that our bedroom and the kitchen (too small so it is unsafe) are no-touch zones.

We eventually incorporated play spaces for him in 3 areas: living room, his bedroom and balcony.