The children cycled in and out of the studio on Tuesday to work on letter forming and recognition. Cassie made pages of the child’s choosing (their name, for example), and then the kids decorated them using do-a-dot markers, glue, and items from the tinker tray. This was a really fun way for some children who are less experienced writers (and even those who do know how to write some letters already) to practice forming letters in a new, accessible, and creative way.
On Tuesday, the kids and Cassie built an epic obstacle course, complete with lave rocks and rings of fire (ribbons tied to hula hoops). We have enjoyed playing and challenging ourselves with it all week!
We have specifically chosen materials, which we hope will support and extend the toddler group’s evolving interest and explorations around dramatic play. Dramatic play is also referred to as symbolic, imaginative, or pretend play. “Dramatic play remains an integral part of the developmental learning process by allowing children to develop skills in such areas as abstract thinking, literacy, math, and social studies, in a timely, natural manner” (Earlychildhoodnews.com).
Rebekah brought in honeycomb this week she found this past weekend. After comparing and contrasting the honeycomb to a wasp nest, and using hexagons to explore the shapes of the nests, she shared an idea to watch a video about bees. We set up our new projector and everyone squeezed in to the mini moosh room to watch and learn.
“I think there’s a queen bee!”
“The bees are dancing!”
“The bees are using the honey to feed the babies.”
“How about, let’s play a bee game! The girls can be the queen and the boys can be the king bees.”
Questions asked after the film
“How are bees born?”
“How do wasps kill bees?”
“What does the nursery look like?”
Wednesday offering: Honeycomb and wasps’ nests
What is the same about a bee and a wasp? What is different? How can we tell which home belongs to which bug? Why do some bugs sting? Why do their nests have holes? How do the holes fit together? The class cycled through this discovery table, examine the nests with the magnifying glasses, tracing shapes, and sharing knowledge and questions about these pollinators.
We made some homemade silly putt on Wednesday! The process was kind of messy but the result was a easily molded clay-like consistency. Here is the recipe: One part corn starch Two parts dish soap Food coloring (optional) We put the food coloring in last and it might have worked better if we dyed the soap first. Combine soap and corn starch and moosh together until it reaches the appropriate consistency! If it’s too gooey, add more corn starch. Too dry- add more soap. So easy!
Another version of the “ready, set, go” game ensued, and involved lots of running, some pretend sleeping, high-fiving, and everybody falling on top of each other and laughing.
This was truly an exploratory experience; inviting creativity, sparking curiosity, and inspiring investigations around the properties of ice! The children found many ways to engage with the materials–smelling, painting, holding in hands, and picking up the ice with various tools. As the children came back to this activity throughout the day, they were continually delighted by the changes which occurred due to the ice melting.
Sarah and Mary are playing on the beanbag, jumping around and landing on top of each other. This is fun for a few minutes, then Mary says, “Stop! I don’t like this.” Sarah says, “Okay.” Then a pause and she says, “How about you land on me?”. This works, and Graham and Amy join the game too. The kids continue to communicate about their body’s limits and the game morphs into a hide and seek type thing with a “squishing” component, with relatively little scaffolding from the teacher. At one point it gets a little rowdy again and Graham says, “Everybody, take a break!” It is so impressive to see kids learn such powerful strategies for advocating for what they need, and listening to each other this early in life!
“This one has two, this one has four, this one has 6.”