2.4 Explain how to obtain and create resources for play spaces
In my setting many of the resources are ordered form the Consortium catalogue. Other educational sites are also used to purchase play equipment, and various websites (Pint rest, TES etc ) have proven to give inspiration to practitioners to provide different resources that can be made for very little cost (ie play dough, is extremely inexpensive to produce and can be thrown away at regular intervals to keep germs and cross contamination at a minimum).
Parents have been extremely helpful in providing unwanted toys, as long as there is a safety mark and they are reasonably clean with no broken parts or sharp edges. Children are asked to bring in clean plastic bottles and cardboard boxes for recyclable projects, and sometimes, if the boxes are large enough can be used to make houses, boats, cars/buses etc for imaginative play. Also a number of costumes have been donated, when the child has outgrown them, which aids the children in play acting.
Various supermarkets in the area have provided surplus packing and carpet fitters have provided sample booklets, which my setting has used to make larger play mats, in both the key stage 1 areas and the learning village, to insulate the play sheds. Vehicle maintenance companies have donated various size tyres, which have been painted and used to make planters in the garden areas.
The Princes Trust, organized a project to make a greenhouse made of wood and plastic pop bottles, which engaged the children during the construction.
Parents have been very generous in donating used kitchenalia, which has been a welcome resource in the kitchen play zones. One parent kindly donated two Mud Kitchens for the year 2 outside area, which he constructed himself.
Books have also been a welcome resource, donated by various parents and members of staff. The practitioners tend to find resources at home when they have had a clear out and are brought in accordingly. Children are encouraged to bring in unwanted items, at parents discretion.
When children have been on a beach or park trek, items are collected to make sensory zones in the setting (ie shells pebbles, driftwood, twigs, leaves, conkers, pine cones, various seeds etc). Recycling plants are approached, as well as other companies to see if they have any wastage that could be recyclable, that could enhance the child or young persons learning experience or environment. Many of theses items can be used in constructing dens. Wallpaper is another flexible resource, which DIY stores are grateful to be unburdened with, when they have old stock, that is a h discontinued line. A minimal fee, may be charged by the company, but more often than not the stock will be freely donated. Most businesses in the area are very approachable and are willing to donate items when asked.