Parietal Art

Parietal art is the archaeological term for artwork done on cave walls or large blocks of stone.

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Also called “cave art”, it refers to cave paintings, drawings, etchings, carvings, and pecked artwork on the interior of rock shelters and caves.

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The purpose of these remains of the Paleolithic and other periods of prehistoric art is not known.

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However, some theories suggest that these paintings were not solely for decoration as many of them were located in parts of caves that were not easily accessed.

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To delve into the Paleolithic world, we created our very own cave drawings!

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Using butcher paper, water and fabric softener, we made the paper we would need for these drawings.

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We did this by mixing the materials together.

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After placing out to dry, we retrieved them and added oil pastels to create a story.

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Lastly, we enjoyed talking about our pictures and what they represented!

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Bear Cave Dramatic Play

Dramatic play enables young children to reconcile their world and its information to their own reality.

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As a primary means of symbolic play, it plays a key role in your little ones’ intellectual development.

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Symbolic play provides the forum for your little one to hone their language and social skills, as they practice new vocabulary and collaborate with one another in mutual story making.

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For this activity, we played in a bear cave!

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Using brown butcher paper, stuffed animals, and our imaginations, we pretended to be bears living in a cave with our friends!

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Stalagcite Gardens

Stalactites and stalagmites are formed by water dripping or flowing from fractures on the ceiling of a cave.

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They are the most common types of speleothems in caves. In caves, stalagcites grow rather slowly while in artificial tunnels and basements they grow much faster.

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When some stalactites touch each other they form a drapery with a curtain-like appearance.

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To demonstrate this phenomena, we created our very own stalagcite gardens!

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Using epsom salt and blue water, we watched their transformation before our eyes! We did this by mixing the materials together and then waited twenty-four hours to see the results!

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Graham Cracker Caves

Food preparation is not only a fun, engaging activity for children,  but one that can be used for years as an important teaching and development tool for all ages. For one thing, hands-on cooking activities encourage a sense of pride and confidence.

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The act of following a recipe can encourage self-direction and independence, while also teaching children to follow directions and use thinking skills to problem solve. Working with food also inspires children’s curiosity, thinking, and problem solving, offering new opportunities to make predictions and observations.

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Additionally, creating snacks offers authentic opportunities for students to understand and apply their knowledge of measuring, one-to-one correspondence, numbers, and counting.

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As they follow a recipe, children organize ingredients, follow a sequence, and carry out multiple directions.

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Lastly, chopping, squeezing, mixing, and spreading materials help develop a child’s small muscle control and hand-eye coordination. For this activity, we used a few ingredients to crease bear caves. We used graham crackers as the cave, peanut butter as our glue, and toy bears as our occupants! Once we were finished, we ate up our yummy creations!

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Stalagmite Structures

A stalagmite is a type of rock formation that rises from the floor of a cave due to the accumulation of material deposited on the floor from ceiling drippings.

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Stalagmites may be composed of lave, minerals, mud, peat pitch, sand, sinter and amberat.

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As part of our cave theme, we spent a couple of days learning about these fascinating objects.

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Using play dough, toy icicles, and rocks, we created our very own stalagmites!

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Prairie – Small World Play

Small world play enables young learners to recreate some of the environments that they have been learning about in class.

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Since this week consisted of a prairie theme, we learned about the physical geography of this landscape, and then used a variety of materials to create this.

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Using artificial grass, toy creatures and shrubs, and rocks, we designed and later interacted with our very own prairie landscapes!

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Prairie Grass

For young children, science encompasses those activities where they can directly observe and manipulate physical properties.

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The tactile element within the scientific experience is paramount to your little one acquiring information about their world.

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With minimal adult intervention, your little one is free to explore and create the interactions they desire.

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This significantly affects their development because it encourages autonomous functioning.

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At this age, it is the process, rather than the product, that results in a more meaningful learning experience. During our week of prairies, we talked about prairie grass and its use for different creatures. Then, we used clay, blades of grass, and our imaginations, to create our very own prairies!

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P is for Prairie

Although the formal study of reading and writing does not occur until kindergarten, young children are capable of recognizing letters and their functions.

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Providing regular opportunities to practice pre-reading and pre-writing skills, is essential in gaining knowledge of the alphabet and its association to how words work.

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Using colored sand and our fingers, we practiced tracing the letter P for prairie.

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Throughout the week, we have been talking about different words that start with the letter P.

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We have additionally been singing songs that reinforce the different sounds that P makes. Lastly, we traced the letter P into yellow sand.

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Volcanic Mountains

Volcanic mountains are formed by magma rising up from the mantle to the crust of the earth.

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A volcano is a rupture in the crust of a planetary mass object, such as Earth, that allows hot lava, volcanic ash, and gases escape from a magma chamber below the surface.

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Earth’s volcanoes occur because its crust is broken into 17 major, rigid tectonic plates that float on a hotter, softer layer in its mantle.

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Therefore, on Earth, volcanoes are generally found where tectonic plates are diverging or converging, and most are found underwater.

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Volcanoes can also form where there is stretching and thinning of the crust’s plates. For this activity, we created volcanoes out of a few materials.

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Using blue gravel, wet sand, baking soda, gravel, and vinegar, we created out very own volcanoes, and then watched them erupt!

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R is for Rock

The tactile experience (touching a letter with your finger) is important for building a memory trace.

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This enables students to acquaint the name of each letter with a visual representation for the letter sound. For a child who is struggling with their letters, the sooner they can integrate the sound of the letter with what it looks like, the sooner their writing contains more meaning for them.

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For this activity, we talked about the letters in the word ROCK, particularly the letter R. Throughout the week, your little one has learned how mountains are made up of rocks, so we focused many of our circle times and writing activities around this word.

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Using clay, and rocks, students composed Rs out of clay and then placed rocks into them.  Upon finishing, we admired the many wonderful Rs that we created!

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