Consider Favorite Childhood
Memories of Your Own
As you consider the arrangements and materials in your program, spend time
with staff as a group sharing stories of the things you loved playing with over and
over again when you were children—a commercial toy for one person, a found
object for another.
What were these materials like? Consider the sensory aspects, the textures,
the way they moved, the sounds they made, and how they connected to
other aspects of your life.
How did you discover this material? Where were you?
Who was with you?
How did you use the materials? Did you take them apart or combine them,
build with them, or act out dramas and adventures?
Why do you think these materials sustained your interest over time?
As you reflect on your favorite childhood materials, you will probably discover
that they relate to many of the childhood “themes” that are a focus of Designs for
Living and Learning. As you continue, get ready for some wonderful ideas, both
new and dusted off from an earlier time. We hope that you will be inspired by the
photographs and the elements they represent. Remember to
steer yourself away from the temptation to respond with “yes,
but . . . my space is so different . . . our licenser (or director)
won’t let us do that . . . we don’t really have access to that kind
of money, those resources . . .” Each of the photographs in this
book represents a transformation made by a teacher, undertaken
against some odds or specific barriers. When you want to design
meaningful environments for living and learning with children,
you can’t take “no” for an answer. You and the children deserve
no less than the biggest dream you can aim for.
LAYING A FOUNDATION FOR LIVING AND LEARNING 19
Hilltop Children’s Center, Seattle, Washington