EXPLORERS, ADVENTURERS, & INVENTORS

EXPLORERS

At Simply Curious, we identify the first 3 years of lifeas one centered on EXPLORATION. We identify children during these years as EXPLORERS.  

Explorer Characteristics

  • Interested in the properties of objects found in their immediate environment

  • Every time a new object is introduced, explorers set out to discover its properties and potential using all of their senses  e.g. sight (colour, size, shape), sound (rhythm, pitch, volume), smell (familiar, unfamiliar, sweet, sour, spicy, stinky), touch with mouth, hands, feet, trunk (texture, weight, movement)

  • Focus of play experience is answering ‘what’ and ‘who’ in order to make sense of the world 

  • Later explorers are fascinated by cause and effect relationships during play, that is, ‘If I drop this block on the floor, my mom will pick it up.’’

  • Explorers often have an intense desire to transport objects 


NOTE:  As a rule, children under the age of 3 are likely to explore all new materials using their mouths.

Careful supervisionis required in order to prevent choking and other unintended injuries during play.

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ADVENTURERS

Sometime between the second and fourth year of life, children become increasingly more ADVENTUROUS in their play.  When children take objects and materials that they have already explored and combine them together in new ways, we refer to them as ADVENTURERS.            


Adventurer Characteristics

  • Works out problems and tells stories as familiar objects are combined in increasingly complex ways

  • Play involves taking developmentally appropriate risks and testing ‘hypotheses’  

  • Adventurers build on the information that was collected by exploring objects with their senses and interacting with trusted caregivers during open ended play sessions

  • Play typically involves an emphasis on pattern and aesthetics e.g. every time the truck backs up, it makes this sound or all blankets used with my babies must be soft and yellow 

  • Adventurers focus on answering ‘who’, ‘how’, ‘where’ and ‘when’ questions (even though the word that they use is ‘why’


NOTE:  As a rule, children under the age of 3 are likely to explore all new materials using their mouths.

Careful supervisionis required in order to prevent choking and other unintended injuries during play.

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INVENTORS

The skills and knowledge that children bring to the play experience beyond the age of four is influenced by their previous opportunities to explore and combine open-ended and sensory materials.  At Simply Curious, we use the term INVENTORS to describe those children who are focused in answering their own ‘why’ questions during their interactions with people and objects.  


Inventor Characteristics

  • Generally, inventors have more sophisticated communication and social skills allowing for collaborative and group play 

  • Play focuses on understanding the reasons behind why people and objects behave the way they do and to work through complex emotions

  • Play that allows for problem solving gives the inventor the opportunity to put together creative solutions to complicated situations

  • Inventors focus on creating something that didn’t exist previously and then evaluating its usefulness 

  • Visual and concrete representations of the child’s thinking are the outcome of the inventor’s play experiences

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