Sunday, September 30, 2012

In All Seriousness- LET THEM PLAY!

Amy Ahola and Denita Dinger, September 29, 2012 Let Them Play Twin Cities

I'm not sure that you realize exactly who you are looking at in the photo above, so I'll help you out. After all, most of you have never seen a photo of me with my real hair! You're looking at the 30s (the 2 of us who share posting on this site on the 30th of each month)... yup, that's right-- Denita Dinger and I spent the day together at the Let Them Play event in the Twin Cities last weekend! 

If you ever have the opportunity to attend one of these AMAZING events, I strongly encourage you to go! Denita Dinger and Jeff Johnson put on a fabulous day of hands-on learning fun, a full day of PLAY and provide you with all of the tools you need to understand all of the learning and the value of real play!

 Play is so important to ALL of us. Taking the time to not only spend the day learning about the value of play, but also actually playing with the materials is essential to being able to support children in their explorations. As a child, it is important to be able to use open ended materials and to experiment with a wide range of ways in which to use them. As a teacher, to prepare for the children you too need to take the time to investigate the possibilities!

 I learned and re-learned so many things from Jeff and Denita!
I had never thought of using straws filled with vinegar to make mini volcanoes in a mountain of baking soda!

 We love to play with magnets, but I had never heard of Ironwood before.... and I loved all of the sculptures and structures to play with while exploring magnetism

 If you don't have an AWESOME vacuum of play, you are totally missing out!

 Who knew that chunks of pool noodles and toothpicks could be so inviting and engaging!

 Plungers + Crossbows = WIN WIN for all ages!

 If you build it... it will eventually fall.......
(You can find the video of this final product on Facebook)
And don't forget... when all else fails, there are always bubbles!!!

I hope you enjoyed a sneak peek into my day with Denita and Jeff. I also hope that you are all taking time to PLAY! for more information on upcoming LET THEM PLAY events in your area, you can visit Jeff's Website, Explorations Early Learning or follow both Denita and Jeff on Facebook.

Explorations Early Learning Facebook Page (Jeff and Tasha Johnson)

Play Counts on Facebook (Denita Dinger)

Let Them Play on Facebook 

For more ideas and understanding of the importance play you can also check out the LET THEM PLAY An Early Learning (Un) Curriculum book they recently published through Red Leaf Press.


 More About Amy

Amy Ahola is the owner/operator of Child Central Station, group home daycare and educational toy store in Marquette, Michigan.  She has been running her own business since 2005. Prior to that time, Amy worked in a childcare center and public school. In addition to her childcare business, Amy also provides educational training sessions. Amy earned a Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Northern Michigan University and a M.S. in Training, Development, and Performance Improvement.  For more information about any of her programs, please visit Child Central Station or Find her on Facebook

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