It’s day four of our five-day series: Fall Invitations to Play! I am teaming up with four other talented kid bloggers to bring you 25 fall-themed invitations to play that should provide you with enough inspiration for setting up your own open-ended play prompts to carry you right through the season. I’ve linked my co-hosts’ amazing invitations at the end of this post- be sure to check them all out when you are finished here! If you are just now joining us for the series, you might want to read my first post HERE which includes an introduction to creating invitations to play if you aren’t familiar with them, including links to some great resources on the subject.
Today’s Invitation: Magnetic Fall Tree
I created this invitation for my twins to use on the giant magnetic chalkboard that I created for our crafty nook upstairs. You can read more about it in this post HERE. The components of the invitation included faux acorns and floral marbles in fall colors (seen in previous invitations this week), a fall leaf magnet set from the Dollar Tree, pom poms in natural colors given to us to try out from Craft Project Ideas.com, and sticks from our backyard. I used a hot glue gun to attach button magnets to all of the pieces with the exception of the leaf magnets and arranged them on the board.
*Caution: As with any activity, please supervise your children closely while playing. Button magnets can damage the digestive system if swallowed!
The left side of the magnet board is plain metal, which makes a nice defined space. I used some of our sticks to create a tree for the invitation and placed a few magnetic leaves and a pom pom on it as a suggestion. However, the twins were free to move the sticks and magnets around anywhere they liked.
The right side of the board is coated with chalkboard paint, and I used that side to arrange all the magnets. I just adore all the fall colors!
I also made chalk available for the twins to use. They have started incorporating objects into their drawings (i.e. drawing a “pond” for a toy frog to sit in, etc.) so I thought they might be interested in combining chalk drawings with their magnet play.
Ways Children Might Use the Materials
- Add leaves, acorns, marbles, and pom poms to the stick “tree”
- Make patterns and designs with the magnets
- Make stick “people”
- Match/group the colors of the various components
- Use the magnets as props in dramatic play/storytelling
- Explore the different textures of the magnetic objects
True to the nature of an open-ended play invitation, although the items are arranged in a way that suggests a possible activity, the children will be allowed to play with the items in whatever way they choose. Depending on how the children interact with the materials, this prompt encourages imaginative play, fine motor skill development, language development, beginning math concepts (sorting, patterning, etc.), and sensory exploration.
I hope you enjoyed today’s invitation to play, and please check back tomorrow for another fun idea. If this is your first time visiting, you might enjoy the other posts in this series:
Now, don’t forget to stop by the other participating blogs to check out their wonderful invitations, too!
Apple Orchard Invitation to Play by My Nearest and Dearest
Art Using Fall Colors by Buggy and Buddy
Button Apple Tree by Fantastic Fun and Learning
Fall Spice Railroad by Play Trains!
*One more big thank you to Craft Project Ideas.com for the natural pom poms – they made the perfect addition to our magnetic play set!*