Medieval residents did not enjoy the paved parking lots that we take for granted today. Horses were the preferred mode of transportation. As travelers shopped, visited friends, and went about their days, they would hitch their horses to posts. These were often adorned with varying colors to indicate class and wealth. The first component of this activity included decorating our “posts” with colorful pipe cleaners and yarn. Each child selected a variety of pipe cleaners that they were to “attach” to their preferred post. This fostered fine motor skills as it involved your little one twisting and fastening the pipe cleaner to make it adhere to the tree. The second component involved dramatic play. Here, your little one rode around on their own horses, exploring their medieval villages and parking their horses when they needed to rest. Dramatic play provides a host of social skills for your little one to practice. When they engage in pretend play, they exercise their negotiation and cooperation skills. They are encouraged to share and dictate roles. As they relate to one another, they foster their problem solving abilities and impulse control. Lastly, they learn to appreciate each actor’s role in the play. These all contribute to building important life skills.
Monthly Archives: September 2013
Cobblestone roads have been used to fulfill transportation needs since ancient times. They appealed to medieval residents because of their durability in harsh weather. Though they were poorly maintained, they provided an integral component to medieval life. To facilitate our understanding of what a cobblestone road is, we created our own! Using cardboard for our roads, glue, and wood pieces as our “stones”, your little one constructed their own version of a cobblestone road. By fabricating their own roads, your little one was applying their awareness of what a cobblestone road is, and how it functions. Doing this also enabled them to practice a variety of skills imperative to their educational repertoire. By manipulating the “stones” they were practicing physical and cognitive skills. As they arranged them within the scope of a predetermined shape, they were learning spatial skills, logical and mathematical skills. Lastly, it encouraged creative thinking on account of the planning that was involved.
The people of the medieval ages did not enjoy water as we do today. Most citizens received their water from wells and other communal sources. This water was almost always tainted with bacteria, caused by human waste and poor sanitation. To compensate, people would add alcohol, honey, and other fruits to the water to make it “cleaner” for consumption. Using honey, limes, and water, we created our own version of mead. Before we began this activity, we discussed what germs were and how important it is to exercise proper hygiene. Your budding historian also learned about why medieval water was so dirty, and how they can ensure cleanliness in their own lives. When young children are active in creating their learning experiences, they foster meaningful connections between new information and their understanding of it. This is an important component in the capacity to problem solve. As they add and manipulate levels of ingredients, they amplify their ability to think creatively, as they create new and unique combinations of ideas and materials.
Knights and Shields
Medieval shields were designed to protect a knight or “soldier” from their enemies. They were also used as weapons throughout the middle ages. Learning how to manipulate a shield required years of training, aimed at increasing skills such as strength and agility. These weapons of war were also decorated with symbols that served to identify the knight, both in tournaments, and on the battle field. Using foil, cardboard, and glue, we created our own shields! This activity hosted a variety of developmental skills. As your child placed the foil on the cardboard, they practiced their fine motor skills and hand eye coordination. As they arranged the foil on the shield, they engaged their ability to manipulate space.
The King’s Jewels
Fine motor activities develop slowly in young children. Because of this, it is imperative that they are constantly exposed to experiences that enable them to practice these important skills. They are an important precursor to writing. Using jewels and worksheets, your little one placed jewels to make the letter K!
Custard tarts first emerged in Britain during the middle ages. They were a popular treat among people of all classes, and were flavored in several different ways. To enable your budding historian to grasp a better understanding of the middle ages, we explored the ingredients in this tasty treat. Using crumpets, jam, cream cheese, and plastic knives, we made our own custard tarts! When young children are given opportunities to prepare food, they are practicing a host of important life skills. When they are given the ingredients to create their masterpiece, they are practicing listening skills. As they are instructed to add ingredients to create their treat, they are learning order of operations. Lastly, as they learn about new foods, they are acquiring new vocabulary, which promotes literacy.
Sensory activities play a key role in the maturation process of young children. Activities that require manipulation and touch enable children to heighten the adaptive response through their senses.
They are an integral component in early childhood education. They not only engage the child, but stimulate cognitive development. To access this, your young one participated in an activity where they made dragon slime!
Using corn starch, food coloring, water, and glitter, we manipulated and created various combinations to create the perfect consistency for our goo!
Poker Chips and Patterns
We have been talking about the letter I this week! Using silly songs, props, and a variety of learning activities, we have integrated this letter into our week of the Ichthyosaurus! Using poker chips and the letter I, we combined math and literacy to supplement our awareness of this fascinating vowel. To start, your child was given a color pattern that they were directed to replicate on their letter. They were then instructed to verbally count their items. Teaching patterns and sequencing to young children is an integral component to the concept of emerging mathematics. They facilitate an understanding of one to one correspondence (i.e. matching sets, recognizing groups) and foster one’s ability to count verbally.
Flippers and Friction
The Ichthyosaurus was a marine reptile that roamed the prehistoric seas. These massive creatures ranged from seven to thirty feet, and used their massive dorsal fin and powerful flippers to navigate. To introduce the concept of friction and its relationship to speed in the water, we swam with our very own flippers! We initiated this activity by placing our hands into some water to make waves. We then placed Ziploc bags onto our hands, and did the same thing. We followed this with a discussion of the differences between the two. Our conversation consisted of questions such as “What made bigger waves, when we had bags on our hands or when we didn’t?” and “Why do you think the bags made bigger waves?”. This activity facilitated several developmental areas, including deduction, cause and effect, and cooperative learning.