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Explore the possibilities of Eco Build a World with Alice Sharp

Alice Sharp shares with us the possibilities of exploration, imaginative play and so much more with Eco Build a World.

Posted on Wednesday 25th January 2023

The TTS Build a World was developed with award-winning and internationally respected early years specialist, Alice Sharp. During her visit to Kirktonholme Nursery. Alice Sharp shares with us the possibilities of exploration, imaginative play and so much more using this open-ended resource.

Open-ended opportunities with Build a World

Children are always eager to explore and experiment, they especially love manipulating something new. Using Eco Build a World, we were hoping to extend their mathematical thinking.  

  • The children counted the pieces to make rollers to knock down their models 
  • The children successfully matched pieces to ensure balance and fit
  • They estimated how many pieces it would take to create certain structures
  • Two children become obsessed with sorting and classifying the pieces calling them heads, feet and bodies. 

All children involved had great fun playing with the pieces and loved how easy it was to change and design different models with the same number of pieces.

Each time the children gather round Build a World we hear a different conversation. These are often involve:  

  • Planning landscapes
  • Talking about levels, heights, manipulations
  • Using vocabulary such as twist, turn, tighten
  • Describing how, what, why and how they are using pieces in certain way.

Our favourite response is when we overhear them expressing their ideas, along with their paused and extended sounds as they take actions!

 A display of treasures 

Build a world is a joy for children imagining and inventing.

The children negotiated, planned together, shared materials, and took turns. There was disagreement and conflict but by trial and error, they resolved it with little adult help.   

We noticed the children asking each other for help, ‘hold this’, ‘can you do that’, ‘I need someone else’. One little one was determined and tested their hypothesis a couple of times but eventually gave up and tired another idea.   

We could hear the ‘cogs’ turning. It became a farm show, not a pet show but a farm show, with prizes! 

On the same day, they were fascinated by how the little wooden animal skittles could be slotted into the pillar holes but keep their head out, just like an infinity pool (the child suggested this!)

The goal is to stimulate, nurture and sustain curiosity, wonder and questioning of the world. By focusing on the process that is taking place, the emphasis is on exploration and engagement… 

The beauty of treasures

Talking about what I do
Resources that excite and invite me to investigate
Exploration and experimentation with everything
Asking questions while I play
See possibilities to do something in a different way
Understand the processes of what I do
Reflect and remember what I’ve done
Evaluate and talk about what I’ve done
Shine like a star! 

With thanks to Alice Sharp for providing this review of learning opportunities.