What Is Strewing?

If you are a parent you might have come across the term strewing before and been a little confused. What is strewing?

Don’t worry we are here to clear up any misconceptions of what strewing is and how it applies to different environments. 

What is Strewing

What Exactly Is Strewing?

Strewing is a parenting strategy that aims to inspire children to be more creative. Strewing means leaving invitations strategically but naturally so that your children discover them and are inspired to be creative. 

It is important to note that you are not just throwing arts and crafts activities around the house making it look cluttered.

In fact, for strewing to be effective it is best to have the invitation in a non-cluttered area. This way the children discover your invitation easily. 

Strewing is also not about rallying your children up and telling them they are going to start a project.

Instead, strewing is about encouraging your children to be creative and explore independently. It is about getting your children to learn how to be engaged and play in their own time. 

Primarily strewing is about discovery. It is encouraging your child to feel the thrill of discovering fun tasks or ways to play on their own without being pushed. For strewing to be successful, we as parents need to take a hands-off approach. 

Strewing is a gentle parenting technique that encourages your child to play and explore at their own pace. This way it is more rewarding for your child compared to when you actively guide or push them to do something. 

How Should I Be Strewing? 

As we mentioned earlier, strewing is leaving something in a strategically put place in hopes of having your child discover it. So the first thing you should do is leave this object in a place where you know your child will find it.

The environment where you leave this object needs to be clean with minimal clutter. This will help your child naturally discover the object and not get distracted by something else. 

There are multiple reasons you might want to take up strewing, some might be for fun and play, or it could be for educational purposes. Strewing is a technique that is used a lot by parents who homeschool their children. 

So when you are thinking about utilizing the technique of strewing for educational purposes, it is important to be open-minded. Here’s an example of how you might practice strewing for educational purposes. 

You might come across a perfectly intact fallen leaf or rosebud, which would seem like a great learning opportunity for your child to explore nature.

You could have a whole lesson planned about the life-cycle of trees and why they are important in the environment. However, when your child discovers the leaf, they might be more interested in its colors. 

This is why it is important to be open-minded when strewing. Since the most important part of strewing is allowing your child to discover things and be inspired naturally, you should follow through with what they are inspired by. 

In this case, rather than pushing your child to think of nature, you could explore the leaf in an artistic way. You could look at the color and textures of the leaf.

This way your child learns to explore and discover items freely without pressure or fear that they might get something wrong. 

What Can I Strew? 

What Can I Strew

If you are interested in strewing, here are a few objects that you could leave out in a place your child will see them. 


One of the easiest ways to keep continuously strewing is to find objects that you have easy access to. That is why anything you can collect in nature is great.

You could strew pine cones, leaves, flowers, or even something that encourages your child to watch nature like binoculars and a birdwatching guide. The choices with nature are endless. 

With nature make sure you place it somewhere they usually do not see it. For example, having some leaves placed on a table. You could even leave out a microscope with slides in it for older children.

Books (Opened)

Another great object to leave around your house are books, but opened. It might be a little trickier to encourage your child to discover a book so make sure they are placed in a room your child wouldn’t expect to find them. 

This could be places like on a sofa or on their bed. Make sure they are open to a page that would attract your child’s attention.

Books are great for encouraging children to not only read but explore the pictures and ask questions about the topic of the book. 


Toys are perfect for encouraging children to play, whether that means strewing new toys or old ones for them to rediscover. Place some figurines on the table or windowsill. Set up a toy kitchen in the living room. 

Arts And Crafts

This is one of the easier objects you can strew. Place some paints and a fresh canvas on an easel. You could bring out play-dough with pom-poms. Or even something as simple as placing a sketchbook somewhere they will see it. 


Construction is something that is almost guaranteed to attract your child’s attention. You could get a Lego kit and leave that in the living room. For older children, leaving out a model airplane or rocket might be fun for them to discover. 


If you want to make it more educational or strew items that have cultural importance to you, leaving them out would be a great way to get your children interested through their own decision. This could be leaving out traditional clothes, or specific foods from different cuisines. 

Final Thoughts

If you have ever wondered what is strewing, then we hope we have covered all bases in this article. Strewing is an amazing way of gently encouraging your children to discover new things and learn about them.

It is perfect for allowing your children to be more independent with what they are inspired by or want to explore. It is also just good fun for them!

Having them experience the thrill of discovering different items will enable them to be more engaged in the environment and creative. 

It is important to note that some of the items you are strewing might not spark interest in your children. However, think of this as a positive because it shows their interests are changing and you can change what you strew to match that. 

It might be worth strewing items or activities that can be done without much adult supervision or intervention. This way your child fully experiences playing independently. 

Joyce Bailey
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