Educational Concept: “Strewing”
I learned a new term this week! I stumbled across it on another blog regarding homeschool techniques and it immediately clicked as something I’ve done countless times as a teacher and as a mom but just never knew the word for! The term is “strewing” and it means the art of allowing your children to discover something you have casually, but consciously, left out for them. This connects to a previous post I wrote a few weeks ago about adding novelty into your children’s play. Both concepts take something familiar to your children and enhance it with something new and different to hopefully lead to more engaged and deeper play.
This is NOT actively inviting your children to engage with a project. This is more about helping your kids play and create on their own. It’s about introducing or reintroducing materials, books, concepts, in a non-pushy way that lets them own the experience and gives them the thrill of discovery.
So what does “strewing” look like? It can be leaving out a flower arrangement on their play table with magnifying glasses next to it. Or a half built magnatile castle on the floor of their room. Or leaving out three thoughtfully chosen books in their reading nook. The idea is that they will just stumble upon these little set ups naturally, with no provoking from you. If you ever find that the simple act of a suggestion from you can turn even the most fun activity into a struggle, perhaps this is a strategy to try! Your children will have a sense of discovery and ownership and be intrinsically motivated to explore.
It’s a casual way of creating a little daily magic, hopefully capturing their imaginations and allowing for deeper play. Not every invitation for play will ‘take’ and that’s okay!
Here are some other general ideas, but as always, you know what will interest your children the most!:
- a puzzle with the pieces flipped over and ready to go
- a few postcards from past trips taped up at their eye level
- stuffed animal ‘scene’ such as a tea party
- create a train track loop
- trucks layed out in a pile of dried beans
- place themed books together with toys (dinosaur books with dinosaurs, unicorn books with the stuffed unicorn, etc)
- blocks or legos pre-sorted by color
- set up a nature table
- open a sketch book to a clean piece of paper and leave out a few select drawing materials
- put a new piece of paper on the easel and lay out paints
I hope this new term and concept inspires you as it did me!