We had the opportunity to work with Mrs Mactivity; an amazing website for fun, educational and innovative hands on activity based printable learning resources for kids aged 3-11.
We were tasked with trying out the Provocation Plan Packs and I was more than a little excited lol.
But, first things first, I hadn’t heard the term “provocation play” before.
So, what actually is it?
Simply put; it’s play that provides hands-on experience for kids to practice, test, construct and deconstruct what they know; their ideas and theories. A ‘Reggio Inspired’ activity is open ended and PROVOKES thinking! Because it is child led (and not amanda-led lol) It means the kids are more engaged in the play and by extension the ideas and concepts involved.
We decided to take the ‘Tuff Spot Tray Transient Art Provocation Plan Pack’ for a test drive – all packs include an “at a glance” short plan as well as a longer style plan with links to Early Years Outcomes and Early Years Goals, full instructions on set up etc and an explanation of this approach to child led learning (There’s also an additional DIY light box activity).
So how did we get on?
Well I’d say it was a resounding success lol.
First off I loved the simplicity of it. Using materials that we already had was definitely a plus. (Nothing worse than getting excited about something and realising you need to go to the expense and hassle of buying extra stuff!) .
It’s also not set in stone so we were able to use what interested us, we chose glittery girly additions. I know my nephew would have chosen Lego pieces and wheels and mini dinosaurs etc. Using what interests the kids also adds to the engagement and enjoyment as well as the learning outcomes.
Set up was simple (and quick!) using the plan as a guide. I had some small sticks, beads, plastic gold and silver stars and heart bangles (these were age appropriate for us) as well as some plastic cutlery etc.
We have done free play before. But never with any specific input or questions from me.
It was interesting to see how much time was spent on mixing the different colours of Play-Doh before the other things were even looked at.
We went on to add more and more white to each small ball of Play-Doh and by the 3rd one she telling me it was going to get lighter and big (Result!!).
The sticks were great for adding things as well as developing their fine motor skills. It didn’t take them long to figure out adding and taking away or using more and less could be demonstrated by adding the beads on the sticks so they wouldn’t roll away.
I had a cookie cutter so the natural progression seemed to be baking and cookie decoration and then pizza lol, using the knife and fork for cutting and making patterns. They said adding the beads was like chocolate and pizza toppings and asked for more to add to them.
After this a birthday cake was made using sticks as candles and again adding and taking away beads from it.
I was surprised how fun it was. Not just for her but for me too. She definitely grasped things I didn’t think she’d understand and we played for ages rolling out the doh, making patterns etc. It was very therapeutic lol. I was even able to have a cup of tea while they played away, showing me and describing what they were doing. Hearing then vocalise their actions and using the vocabulary properly while talking me through what they were going was great.
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen them engaged in something educational like this. I know Play-Doh etc. has its uses in an educational setting but having this plan really helped me see more of its potential, I’ve looked through the other plan l packs and they are fantastic as well.
I love the fact the hard work’s been done for you and it’s as easy to refer back to it when needed. (I did keep checking back so I knew what way to ask questions and what vocabulary to use, but after a while I got into the swing of things)
The membership is currently £9.97 per year for access to the ENTIRE website – incredible value.
All in all I have to say this is another win for Mrs Mactivity. These packs are engaging, educational and oh so easy to set up! It’s a yes from me!! To be honest I love the website in general and would highly recommend it for parents and educators alike. Me and the boss are looking froward to working out way through more activities and printables. (Keep an eye out for my thoughts on the summer puzzle book we took on holidays with us!)