I said yesterday we had introduced most everything inside but outside we still had a few stones left unturned.
Today we added paint to the outside easel. What good is an easel if there is nothing to paint with ? Even with activities like this there is learning that takes place. There’s the normal learning patience until its your turn. There’s the gross motor since it is a larger area to paint. ( Side note . Motor skills work their way down the arm. When children are smaller they might paint or color using the shoulder. Eventually you start to see some elbow movement , them some wrist action and lastly the fingers will begin to work to be able to use the correct grasp for fine motor. ) Another big thing some of the children found out by accident today was that blue and red make another color when mixed. PURPLE !
We have had the mud kitchen open with dirt and tools. Today we added water. One of the indicators of quality is that sand or water play is available for an hour each day. We have sand available outside all the time but handling water is different than pouring sand.
Did you get to see my live feed today that highlighted the ramp action going on ? Those materials were played with non stop today. The children worked with the ramp making it higher and lower and propping it with other materials. The conversations that took place in that area were so valuable and rich. There was problem solving and even some relationship building as they decided who would do what . The action over there lets Ms Dallas and I know that perhaps we need to add more materials to encourage ramp building in our block room. We also can research what is their next logical step after building a ramp. How can we use that opportunity to expand their knowledge . I wonder…..
We did a group activity today. The activity was planned for small groups but we ran out of time . The children decorated the first letter of their name with large sequins. This activity reinforced that initial again and the kids used their pincher grip to pick up one sequin at a time to place on their paper.
We also played two games outside. Sometimes children join our preschool family that have never had group experiences before. Two important things to know when you are in a group are :
1 Stop means STOP. – Sometimes children do thing to others they think is funny but in fact their friend would like for them to STOP. We try to teach the children for safety purposes that STOP means stop. One way to teach this is to play a game like freeze tag The children would run and when we yelled STOP everyone would freeze. We reminded them that STOP means stop.. whether is in a game or while playing with friends.
2. How to take turns. We do not force children to share. Sharing with someone should come from the heart and not out of fear an adult is going to be angry or disappointed. We do encourage the children to say things like ” I would like to play with that toy. Will you let me know when you are finished ?’ Many times one friend will say ” you can have it now” but not always and that is ok. But there are times , like during the ramp play today, that turn taking is helpful and makes the game the children are attempting to play run much smoother. We try to stay out of it and let the children use language and problem solving skills to figure it out but sometimes they do need help. Today we played a game with bean bags that encouraged turn taking and used the terminology ” its his turn now ” so they would understand how helpful turn taking is and that it is ok !
As if that all doesn’t sound like a lot we also introduced more conscious discipline language today through a book we read about Shubert. We talked about ” being helpful ” looks like and what ” being hurtful ” looks like. So far the terms we have introduced from conscious discipline are : safe keeper , balloon, drain, helpful, hurtful , preschool family, We wish you well, and calm down spot.
Sometimes the kids surprise us and use conscious discipline. This morning we talked about if a friend is having a hard time at school you may wish them well. One of our friends fell down while running today and look at her friends around her. 🙂 ( Many of them are helping her breathe and doing the balloon. )
And you thought we just play all day. 🙂