Open explore is a time when the children have a broader selection of activities to choose from. You will see children in the kitchen, in the building area, investigating science artifacts, using letter or number materials, busily creating at the creation table, reading books, playing with the rice table, and much more.
This is one of my favorite times of our day. You get to listen in on the most amazing conversations and see natural collaboration at work. It is also when the children are the most welcoming to each other.
One example is today is when Charlie, Sam, and Miles used the block area to build a rocket ship. The whole time they were building they were sharing ideas, knowledge of space exploration, and what is inside an actual rocket. This was all done with no adult prompting or support. When they were done, they tried to get their rocket ready for take off.
Their whole experience required a lot of problem solving. They had to solve social conflict as well as a variety of engineering details to their rocket. The boys also learned from one another as each knew something about space or rockets that the others did not.