- Open-ended, meaning that it can be used in a variety of ways, for example, this pine dolls house is plain and simple and could be a house, fire-station, school, temple, shop, castle, whatever the child's imagination wants it to be. Less can be more when it comes to children's play, as they become creative, rather than having it laid on a plate in front of them.
- Attractive - it has to call to the child to come and play with it because it is beautiful or intriguing and it meets a need that they have, to explore or express ideas, or role-play.
- Durable - it needs to be good quality and to last as I intend to be minding for a long time and i don't class toys as consumables!! It is also important that young children learn to care for the toys they play with and things that look scruffy after just a few months don't encourage that.
- Inclusive - the doll house mentioned above is inclusive because it can be anything to any child regardless of their background, interests or experiences. Also under this criteria I look to see whether positive images are portrayed and diverse cultures reflected.
- Simple, with clear cause and effect - this relates in a big way to the toddler toys that I source. I want them to isolate one idea at a time, for example, if you press this button, the egg pops up. This helps young children to make sense of the world and to build a knowledge base upon which they will eventually lay maths and science ideas! Toys that are all-singing and all-dancing do not promote children's independence as they do not have a clear cut sequence of events that the child can achieve on their own.
Through this process of thinking, I have come to realise that i do actually have a strong identity for my business and for vision for how it should develop. It has made me really enthusiatic about pursuing those goals! I used an auditing tool to look at the different areass of my resources and it was great as a way of assessing that area of my practice under the EYFS.
The photo below is part of my 'toddler shelves' showing some of the resources that I have out at present!