learn through play

20 January 2017 |

Here at Submaterial, we believe and appreciate the process of learning, the importance of making, and the value of helping members of our community come together. Through a partnership with a local program called Wemagination, we are proud to donate various materials with the intention of encouraging children to learn through play.

The Wemagination Resource Center is a non-profit organization associated with the University of New Mexico’s Family Development Program, with a goal to cultivate and foster joy, diversity, community, and promote the inherent instinct to play. The Family Development Program focuses on the right to learn for children up to five years old, as research shows that these are some of the most influential years on learning and brain development. Wemagination takes this concept into the lives of children through teaching creativity and allowing them to use their imaginations through everyday materials.

Wemagination receives donated materials from local businesses and community members, then acts as a distribution hub, with a goal to allow kids to bring their own ideas to life. With a vast library of materials at their disposal, children are taught to think outside the box, be inclusive, and ultimately retain the passion for creative discovery.

Alida Davila-Larrichio

During our visit to the location in Nob Hill, we were told by Education Consultant, Alida Davila-Larrichio, that children are encouraged to use these materials for new things every day, as opposed to something permanent.  By using each piece of material in this manner, there are endless possibilities for the imagination to wander. Using our post-manufacturing wool felt and cork scrap donations, Wemagination helps teach kids how to use their imagination and kick start their senses. Preferred by daycares and preschools, the felt has proven to be a great sensory material for babies and young children to learn through touch.

Teachers and parents have seen their children use the felt as race car tracks, ninja belts, animal tails, puppets, knotted chains, and even imaginative hanging forests. The cork donations typically get repurposed for both classroom and home pin boards.

Felt and Cork Station

In addition to our commitment to helping our community in any way we can, Submaterial also supports the initiative to reduce waste and promote a sustainable environment. Through donating our unused materials, we eliminate 10-15 cubic yards per month of waste that might otherwise end up in a landfill.

“(Wemagination) provides high quality recycled materials in support of understanding the essential role of play for children’s optimal learning and development.”

Wemagination offers free workshops to familiarize educators and parents with the creative process and how to jumpstart imaginations of today’s youth. The next workshop being offered will take place on February 1, 2017, on the topic of “Discovering Storytelling and Pre-Literacy Skills Through Play.”

If you’d like to get involved with Wemagination, you can sign up to donate, get a membership, or register for a free workshop on their website at we.unm.edu.


Childhood Educators Membership Registration (parents & teachers)

Non-Childhood Educators Membership Registration (artists & community members)

Childhood Learning: Reggio Emilia Approach

4010 Copper Ave NE
Albuquerque, NM 87108
Phone Number: (505) 268-8580