Strewing: Leaving interesting things around to be discovered and then changing them out for newer, different things. Sandra Dodd once wrote about unschooling, "I just strew their paths with interesting things," and she and others have written much more about it since -- some of it is on her site here and here.
I thought that from time to time I'll start posting some of the things I've put around the house to be discovered or re-discovered.
Lately, most of our expendable money has gone to our Chicago trip and to everyone's specific interests: gardening stuff for me, skateboards and related things for Matt, UB Funkey's and Iron Man figures for Seth, Rock Band song packs and a couple foot pedals for the electric guitar for Riley, stuffed animals and Littlest Pet Shop figures for Maya. So these things that I've put around the house recently are not new -- just things pulled off a shelf or rearranged in some way to be looked at, touched, played with, used in whatever way -- or not at all.
These pattern magnets aren't really something I pulled out recently -- they're almost always out on my dishwasher. They do get rearranged pretty regularly by most anyone that comes into our kitchen, though.
I stuck magnets to our tangrams and put them on the refrigerator. We make our own designs with them or try to make what's on the picture cards.
I set these up on the kitchen table this morning -- picture puzzles with 3, 4, and 5-letter words. I'm not much of a puzzle person, and this always looks overwhelming to me when we get it out, especially now that we have a dog and can't set the pieces out all over the floor; but Maya and Seth love it. Maya picked it out at the store last winter, which makes sense -- she's not fully independently reading yet but has so much fun playing around with it and making a game of piecing together this complex and sometimes bizarre language of ours.
My favorite series of field guides, the ones from National Audubon Society -- they have beautiful photography, and we enjoy looking up specific things in them or just browsing through them. Our nature basket -- right now with some rocks and shells and other items bought or found at various places. The magnifying glasses I had put in there are missing -- someone must have found something somewhere else that they needed a closer, bigger look at.
A cleaned off desk, freshly sharpened pencils and colored pencils, plain paper, colored paper, lined paper, scissors, and a find-the-hidden picture page printed from the Highlights website.
On our living room "coffee table" (actually a trunk full of costumes and accessories): Perfection game, a couple library books and a small Spiderwick book that came out of a cereal box, and the latest (I think) issue of Ranger Rick magazine. Oh, and the TV remote -- we're definitely not ones to discount all that we learn from TV.