Inspired by Antoinette Portis's series of picture books, Not a Box and, our favorite, Not a Stick, our team of Tinkergarten leaders decided to give kids plenty of chances to transform an ordinary bed sheet into an extraordinary list of things. We've shared some of our favorite incarnations here, but welcome you to grab an old sheet and hit the great outdoors. We found the following steps helpful in getting us started, but really enjoyed letting the kids run with it.
The combination of a simple object and the welcome to re-imagine that object offers kids the perfect practice with imagining possibilities—the foundation they need to think creatively and flexibly as learners and older children or adults. Not a Sheet is also a seriously social experience, as participants collaborate to create new realities. As kids share ideas and add narrative or even simple squeals to their make believe play with the sheet, they develop communication skills. Finally, even though wee ones may not participate as fully in the imaginative or communicative aspects of this activity, simply experiencing the many ways such a simple object can be used and being part of such communal exploration opens up their imagination to the possibilities.
We also love this activity because it was inspired by one of our super talented Tinkergarten leaders, Roxanne Breton in Westchester, NY.