Often when we create a collection, more than collecting objects, we are collecting stories: the place where we found it, the person who gave it to us, why we brought it, its place among the others we already have, etc.

This play invitation is an opportunity for children to categorize and create relationships between different things that collectively tell a story. When exploring this proposal children can build narratives, develop their imagination, build on their meaning making and develop their sense of belonging and identity.

What Could Lead Us to This Play Invitation

  • Children have been creating collections of things;
  • Children are curious about the history of things and people;
  • Children are excited about telling stories.

Materials Needed

• Things children choose to collect: shells, stones, cards, pens, etc.

Setting up this Play Invitation

  1. Prepare a place where children can add their found objects to the collection. It is important that this space is always accessible to children. This can be a box, a shelf, a table, a bag, a basket, an over-the-door hanging shoe organizer with clear pockets, a cutlery tray, or anything appropriate to the objects.

How to Create the Collection

  1. Challenge your children to create a collection. This collection must be connected to their interests at the moment, can be individual or collective, and can be made of things they pick and bring or things they build and create.
  2. Or you can suggest: “Let’s make a collection of things we find on our way to school”.
  3. Invite children to build the narrative of each object they add to the collection. Write down these stories and place them near each object.

Optional Next Step: Make an exhibition when your collection is ready to share.

How to Nurture the Natural Unfolding of the Child’s Identity During This Play Invitation

  • Children have the right to build relationships with objects, giving them significance beyond their material value. Respecting children’s interests is essential as this is a beautiful way to get closer to their inner selves.

The Academic Learning Opportunities

  • MATH: Develop counting, categorization, and sorting skills, and be aware of quantities.
  • LANGUAGE: Build narratives, describing, and sequencing.
  • SOCIAL: Making choices, developing their identity, building on their belonging, and collaboration skills.


  • Bring all the items from the collection and offer them to the children as loose parts. Let them create new relationships and narratives from their imagination.

Book Recommendation

A delightful story about two friends that love to collect all sorts of things.