“Each object in the prepared environment is a potential learning tool, not just a toy or a diversion.”
I came across this video earlier in the week and thought it was worth sharing. It gives a brief explanation of how the infant learns, the need for repetition, and how the environment aids the child in their exploration and learning.
The above quote is from the clip and thought it gave a short, but great reason why the prepared environment is so important.
We don’t need to fill our children’s rooms with the newest toys or things that light up or sing to them. Infants want to discover things on their own. They want to figure out how things work. They want to explore!
That’s more than evident when we present a toy to our child and they begin to play with it, but 20 minutes later they’re opening and digging in the kitchen cabinets! Or even when I’m presenting a lesson to my son, he’s all to eager to grab the materials and begin exploring them before I finish the presentation! He wants to experience it for himself and see how he can manipulate the materials.
It’s the beginning of their independence.
It’s not that toys are bad, but many toys have been designed as entertainment for the infant rather than a means of learning and exploration. For my husband and I, we want our children to have fun and enjoy life, but also be able to entertain themselves by their own means. We want our children to be active participants in the world around them. Not just people waiting to be entertained.