A box is not only a box!

When we adults see a cardboard box, we see something that needs to be broken down and taken out, to the recycling bin. I also believe that many of us adults have had that disillusioning experience of buying a toy as a gift for a child and then finding the child prefered to play with the box instead of the toy. 

When children see  a cardboard box, they see the opportunity of the box, like a blank canvas, that is just waiting to be transferred into a space rocket, a car, a doll house, a ship, only limited by their imagination.

For younger children it is a shape and texture to explore, a space to climb into, something to poke, crush or bang. 

Turning a cardboard box into a plaything is an eco-friendly waste-not lesson, we are not only repurposing, but also facilitating a play based learning opportunity. Play-based learning helps children develop social skills, motivation to learn, and even language and numeracy skills. Taking initiative, focused attention, and curiosity about the world, are all a part of play.

Cardboard boxes inspire creativity and imagination as children transform and reinvent them into something else. Cardboard boxes of all shapes and sizes are one of the most popular open ended play materials for children and they certainly don’t require an activity sheet or expensive additional materials. What has been found through research and various studies is that open-ended material is the most educational material.

Open ended materials means material, that is not finished and that can have several uses. These materials are the ones that contribute most to interaction and dialogue and also to development. Open-ended materials have multiple uses and limitless possibilities, there are no rules to follow, no expectations, no specific problems to solve and no pressure to produce a finished product. Children can create a purpose for open ended toys and use it as they wish.

As an open ended resource, a box has endless potential!

Provide materials for children to expand their cardboard box play

Provide cardboard box play with natural or manmade objects (Loose Parts), like nature based-wood, plastic-metal, ceramic, fabric-ribbon and packaging.  but also with crayons, tape. glue, water based painting colour,brushes etc.                                                                     

Children can have fun with cardboard boxes of any size.

blogg b 2

 Remember to remove any staples or other sharp objects from the box!

Let the cardboard box play grow over time. Don’t throw the project away, try instead to find a place where the children can revisit and add to it. This will increase both the complexity of the construction and their play.

Technology, books and toys can all be effective ways of helping children to learn and explore the world, but sometimes all they really need is a cardboard box.

Low-tech and unpretentious it may be, but the cardboard box has fostered learning and creativity for multiple generations.

The humble cardboard box was inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame in 2005.

The Christmas season is in full swing! 

The Christmas season shopping is in full swing and Playtime Seychelles Safety Corner like to put out some reminders to parents and family members to keep toy safety in mind while picking out gifts for young children.

It’s always important to look at age recommendations and any warnings on the packaging. One of the most important reminders when looking for toys is to look for a potential choking hazard

There are a lot of things to consider, when you buy a Christmus Gift for a child. 

Things to consider

Choose sturdy and well made toys, that can stand up against being bitten, tugged, sucked, jumped on and thrown around without falling apart.

Pick age-appropriate toys. Choose toys suitable for your child’s age, abilities and skill level.

 Be sure to follow the age recommendation – particularly the 0 to 3 symbol and the words ‘not suitable for children under 36 months’. Do not buy toys with small detachable parts for children under 3 years of age. Small children tend to put toys in their mouths; they may choke on the small parts.

Look for Toys marked with CE –Label. The CE mark is a commitment from the toy maker, that the toy complies with all EU safety rules, whicw-lbelh are amongst the strictest in the world.

 

Eyes and buttons can be a choking hazard.

rgdoll Small parts such as eyes, buttons and other small parts should be securely fixed to dolls and  toy animals, so they can’t be removed, by pulling or chewing. For children up to three years, ensure, that the doll’s limb or head is not removable, because if the parts are too small they can also become a choking hazard.

 

Rattles or teething rings

rttle

Toys that children have in or near their mouth like rattles or teething rings, shall have round forms, which must be large enough, that they do not fit completely into a child’s mouth and not have long narrow shafts. The shafts can get too far in the mouth and harm a child’s throat or block the windpipe. The last warning is especially for children that cannot sit up by themselves.

Filling

nlle

Avoid soft toys, that contain filling that is dangerous for your child like plastic beads. If the toy breaks, children under three years old can suffer serious injuries or illness. They can choke on small parts or filling, that they have put in their mouths or inhaled. They can also swallow small parts or fillings. If you feel uncertain ask the shop sales assistant, about what kind of filling, that is used. Look also for for a label that the toy is washable.

Ribbons

blogg 20 3

Ribbons attached to toys, shall not be longer than 22cm, otherwise there is a risk that the child can get the ribbon around her/his neck and get strangled.

 

Toys With an elastic cord

blogg 20 5

Toys with an elastic cord, to be attached across a cradle, cot or pram the maximum stretched length of the elastic, should be no more than 75 cm and the length of the elastic, when relaxed should be no longer than 56 cm. The elastic should be enclosed in a tube. It should be removed from the cradle, cot, playpen, pram, stroller etc. when the child is able to sit up unaided, because there is a possibility, that the child could fall forward onto the toy, in a way that would cause a restriction to breathing.

Sounds

ör bl

Make sure a toy isn’t too loud for your child. The noise of some rattles, squeak toys and musical toys can be as loud as a car horn, even louder if a child holds it directly to the ears and can contribute to hearing damage. The International Standards Organization (ISO) technical committee recommends, that close-to-the-ear toys, should not exceed 65 dB when measured in the free field and all other toys should not exceed 85 dB.

Button batteries

Button batteries can be swallowed or placed in the nose or ears and can cause serious injury or death. Most pass through the body and are eliminated, but sometimes they get hung up in the esophagus. An electrical current can form in the body and hydroxide, an alkaline chemical, can cause tissue burns that can be fatal.

Battery-operated toys should have battery cases, that secure with screws so that kids cannot pry them open.

  • When checking a toy for a baby or toddler, make sure it’s unbreakable and strong enough to withstand chewing so batteries can’t fall out.
  • Check toys regularly to make sure that they aren’t broken or unusable.
  • Throw away broken toys or repair them right away.

Before wrapping a gift 

instr bl

Remove packaging, prize tags and other things and discard packaging immediately, before giving the toy to a small child. Make sure your child does not play with plastic packaging, as there could be a risk of suffocation.

 Read and follow the instructions for proper toy assembly and use. Keep the instructions and information, that are packaged with the toy in a safe place.

Ribbons and wrapping paper

pket bl

Bright colors make these attractive to children but these items can pose suffocation and choking hazards to a small child. After gifts are opened, remove all wrapping papers, bags, paper,  ribbons and bows ,put them into a garbage sack right away. Even stray pieces of gift wrap or plastic ties from packaging can pose a choking hazard 

Do not let children play with gift wrappings. 

You can read Playtime Seychelles Publication “Safe to play with!”

https://www.calameo.com/read/004711587c68025042c50

or download it as PDF for free

leks

safe to play with!

A litter reduction project for children !

Playtime Seychelles wrote a blog some time ago, with the title was “Let litter into education”, The blog inspired us to initiate a small project with the same name. This project could give all children the opportunity to acquire an ecological and caring approach to their surrounding environment and to nature and society. An understanding of how people, nature and society affect each other, and also of how different choices people make in everyday life can contribute to  sustainable development. The project is also in line with Playtimes’ beliefs that education should be defined as a belief in the future. 

This project also addresses a real world issue, gives the opportunity for students and adults to work together, a hands on experience, that teaches respect for the environment responsibilities, recycling, sustainable development etc.

We like to give you the opportunity to use this project, you can use parts of it, rewrite, use it as an inspiration source.

This project does not need to cost a lot of money, but more of voluntary work. There is a lot of material both for adults and students, that you can download for free from the internet. Contact the local waste management  company and ask them for help with garbage bins, recycling bins, gears to pick litter with etc. They will surely help out. Involve the parents but also other adults that live in the neighbourhood, local governments, media etc.

This project can be done anywhere.

If you start the project, please email us about your progress, project description etc. and please send some photos. We will publish the material on the blog. This can inspire others to follow your example.You find our email in the sidebar

 Let us share our knowledge with each other for the benefit of our children’s future.

You can read the project below and download it as a PDF for free.

Project name: Let Litter into Education

Preface:

Littering is a huge environmental threat one can witness in all urban areas. Streets, sidewalks, parking lots, roads and highways are mostly covered with food wrappers, soft drink and water bottles, plastic bags, handbills, cigarette butts, tissues, papers etc. Litter affects the environment negatively and the major impacts involve the danger to public health,endangering, or killing wildlife and serious damage to waterways, oceans and marine life. Based on recent data, 7 billion tons of debris enter the world’s oceans annually and most of it is long-lasting plastic. 

Background

As an educator I know that education is one of the most effective tools when it comes to shaping the future. Our youngest generation is the future, so it is extremely important that we encourage good habits in children from a young age and educate children on the importance of reducing litter and waste from an early age.

Target Groups 

Students in school, preschool and creche

Purpose 

To put litter into the curreclicum will give children the opportunity to learn about the environment and the role they can play in improving it. A  concrete and important environmental issue such as littering is a good pedagogical starting point in learning for sustainable development. To educate students about the effects of litter and influencing attitudes are key steps towards behaviour change and litter reduction in the community as a whole.

Project  Goals

To keep the schools-preschool and neighbourhood litter-free. To give students a hands-on experience that teaches them responsibility skills and gives a respect for the environment and their surroundings.  To encourage children to take pride in their school and neighbourhood.

Activity Goals

Here are some  ideas that could be done in schools. preschool and creche, anywhere to prevent littering.

Set up a Clean School, Preschool or Creche  program together with the students, to change the littering behaviour.

  • Children can be encouraged to create posters which they can put up around school or preschool also in corridors, classrooms, staff rooms and in the local community. The posters could encourage everybody to dispose of their litter correctly.
  • Children can come up with their own litter slogans.
  • Raise public awareness regarding litter, by letting the students making a ”This is a Litter Free Zone” sign to be displayed outside the school.
  • Plan litter picking activities in and outside of the School-Preschool frequently.
  • Have recycling bins in every room, including staff rooms, kitchen and also outside on the yard. Recycling will introduce students to the three environmental R’s recycle, reuse and reduce and also to a circular economy. The recycling and waste bins should be labeled clearly to avoid that the waste gets mixed up. The students can help to make labels to the bins.
  • Let all students become Litter-Free Ambassadors to take the message home to their siblings, parents and grandparents.
  • The school /preschool can initiate programmes like” Adopt a place, a park or street” in the neighbourhood and the staff and the students can spend some compulsory hours every week doing community work to clean up the area.
  •  Involve parents to take action in the preschool/school/creche/ neighbourhood litter free programmes.
  • Pedagogical material for different ages
  • Fact material for teachers
  • Media involvement
  • Emigrate the ideas to neighbouring schools, preschools and creches
  • Study visits for students to landfills
  • Study visits for students to recycling centers
  • safety aspects and risk assessment.

We are back!

Accident happens!

The website went down and sadly we were not able to save and restore it.

We had to start from scratch and rebuild it. It took some time, but we are back on track again! We are working on restoring the old blogs. Hopefully we will be able to upload them on this new site. Keeping our fingers crossed!