Inside: You’ve got a make a creation station aka the best way to use classy garbage for some really amazing kid exploration.
One Mom’s junk is another kid’s treasure.
Creation Station aka a bin of really fun and interesting pieces of garbage that I’m calling a kid’s activity instead of throwing away. Necessity is the mother of all inventions, and so is pure laziness.
Alright so maybe it’s not quite is “bad” as I’m making it sound and maybe there is a reason for this. Maybe, just maybe, this creation station is something you’re going to want in your house.
What is a creation station?
Back when I was a teacher, I had a whole center in my classroom that I called the “Creation Station.” Anything that was “classy garbage” went into the Creation Station.
I know you feel me on this amazing garbage situation: things like paper tubes, ribbons, packaging materials, tissue paper…. Now that is some classy garbage. Nothing low class like banana peels or coffee grinds made it into this sophisticated area.
My students visited the Creation Station all day long: tinkering, exploring, and building – it was an ever changing, always evolving space. It was The Place to be.
I wanted that same experience for my kids.
I wanted to give my kids a similar experience. To give them a space with lots of stuff where they can create more stuff. I’m really selling this idea, aren’t I?
I grabbed a storage container and started filling it with “classy garbage” AND materials to connect or build with.
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- Glue sticks (yes, I buy this many all at once…)
- Wet glue
- Kid-sized scissors
- Hole punch
I walked the kids through the bin the first day, and just said a little prayer that they’d see the possibilities in the space and not that their Mom had put a bunch of garbage in the dining room.
Spoiler alert: NAILED IT.
It’s been TWO WEEKS since I first introduced this bin, and yes – this classy pile of garbage is in a corner of my dining room so the kids can access it whenever.
And they do. They go to this all.the.time.
All of a sudden, they’ll be mid-pretend play and I’ll hear, “Go to the Creation Station! We can build a cage there!” and I sit and cry happy activity tears while they build something they need.
It’s the most amazing thing ever seeing this pile of junk become a big part of their playing lives.
I’m not saying there will always be a Creation Station in my dining room, but probably for a while. It’s not like I have some fine dining, formal dinner parties to host in there anyways.
So now, whenever I start to recycle something, I slightly judge it to see if it’s classy enough for our bin, because that place is the classiest garbage pile you ever did see.