Materials have the potential to draw you in, make you want to stay a while, explore a little (or a lot), try new things, create and wonder. In our classroom, materials are carefully selected for their potential to enhance learning and discovery.
Many of these materials come from natural sources such as pine cones, sand, rocks, etc. Children are experts at seeing the potential in these objects, and can use them to create glorious structures and pieces of art.
For this activity, we recreated the rock formation of Los Arcos, near Puerta Vallarta. This beautiful rock formation rises out of the ocean, and is the home of several birds.
It has been designated a marine sanctuary by the government of Mexico, and is a source of local pride. Using clay, planting cups, and rocks, we constructed our own version of it!
Deep within the jungles of Mexico and Guatemala and extending into the limestone shelf of the Yucatan peninsula lie the mysterious temples and Mayan pyramids.
One of these pyramids is The Pyramid of the Sun. The Pyramid of the Sun is the largest structure in Teotihuacan, and the second largest in Mesoamerica.
It is also the third largest pyramid in the world. The original purpose of the Pyramid of the Sun is unknown, though archaeologists believe it originally had an altar on top of the Pyramid. Therefore, it most likely was built to honor a deity. For this activity, we constructed our very own pyramids out of painted Styrofoam cups.
By giving your little one the opportunity to construct their own buildings, they are encouraged to practice their problem solving skills. Building activities also help your child to develop motor skills and hand-eye coordination, spatial skills, a capacity for creative, divergent thinking, and increased language.
Moreover, children can integrate their own constructions into pretend play scenarios. There is also evidence that complex construction play is linked with advanced math skills in later life.
When young children categorize items by number, they are beginning to perceive the relationships between them.
As they evolve in their ability to recognize and count the written numeral, they start to understand how they work together.
In this activity, your budding mathematician learned how to recognize and count pom poms within the scope of our Mexican theme.
Using pom poms and sombreros, students placed these items into six different sombreros, counting and naming the numbers while doing so.