Week 4: Foam Block (52 Weeks of Provocations)

You can find more information about provocations here 🙂

Unfortunately we had some work done on our house which halted . . . well everything for a while. The disruption caused some problems both in the areas we could use, and with Squirm’s behaviour at the time. We seem to have everything slowly getting back to normal though, and I’m restarting the provocations – beginning with one we actually did during the disrupted period.

Provocation 4: Foam Block - Adventures of a Subversive Reader

Provocation 4 : Foam Block

Background Information

It started with a pin cushion left just in the reach of my ever growing Squirm. To my horror, I found him crouched on the floor, intently pulling out each one of my very sharp pins! Obviously, this was incredibly interesting to him, but in no way safe. But it got me thinking about what could we do to mimic the sensory experience of pulling pins out of a pin cushion. This was our (sometimes surprising) alternative.

Materials

  • Foam florists block (from the local discount store)
  • Golf tees (from the local discount store)
  • Platter for holding the block
  • Container for the tees
  • Splash mat (because we did it indoors)
  • Water

Set Up

We set this up on the floor of our kitchen on top of the splash mat. First I wet the block to make it less ‘flaky’ then pushed in the golf tees. I placed the block on an old platter I had (non breakable) and put it on the mat with the container.

Provocation 4: Foam Block - Adventures of a Subversive Reader

Experiences

Squirm LOVED this provocation. The tees and the block worked extremely well together and he enjoyed pulling the tees out (there’s a slight ‘pull’ before they come out), and pushing them back in. He also likes using the tees as tools on the foam – making holes and ‘carving’ paths and lines with them. He also enjoyed using his hands to push and pull at the block – demolishing a whole corner at one point. The tees continued to be a toy separate to the block as well – used for poking and prodding and tinkering.

Provocation 4: Foam Block - Adventures of a Subversive Reader Provocation 4: Foam Block - Adventures of a Subversive Reader Provocation 4: Foam Block - Adventures of a Subversive Reader Provocation 4: Foam Block - Adventures of a Subversive Reader Provocation 4: Foam Block - Adventures of a Subversive Reader

What Next?

The foam block made me think about using clay and the different experiences Squirm might be able to have with that. As we begin to move into more art based activities, I’m sure there’s be clay available to play with. I’d also like to use the golf tees again since Squirm really enjoyed manipulating them.

Provocations are experiences offered to a child, based on past knowledge or interests, with the aim of extending the child’s ideas.

Our provocations present a small range of materials – some which are part of Squirm’s every day life, others which are new to him, or only known from other provocations. The aim is to present them in a thoughtful and (hopefully) attractive way, and to allow Squirm to investigate them in any manner he wishes. These provocations will remain in place for around a week, and then a new provocation will be presented.

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