A primary vehicle to scientific instruction is that of example. Because the study of scientific concepts incorporate both observation and experimentation, our classroom activities strive to both display and apply this type of instruction.
This activity involved the science of sound. Students were given a large metal bowl and a large glass bowl. The glass bowl was wrapped with saran wrap and on top of that saran wrap was rice.
Students were then encouraged to hit the metal bowl to see what would happen to the rice. They were delighted to see that the rice moved! Your budding chemist first learned that all sounds are made up of sound waves.
We talked about how when we make sound, exciting things happen that we can’t see, and that every time we make a sound we create invisible waves. In the case of the rice, these “waves” caused the rice to actually move!
The outside world shapes children’s development through experiences that they have, which include using their five senses—hearing, sight, smell, taste, and touch. In our classroom, we draw your child’s attention to the five senses by discussing them. This increases understanding of and communication about the world around us.
Throughout our week of the five senses, we learned that our senses help us decide whether to enjoy or not enjoy an experience: our eyes help us see, our ears let us hear, our hands help us feel, our noses let us smell, and our tongues help us taste things. For this activity, we talked about our sense of taste.
Initially, your little one was told that it is our tongue that enables us to taste different flavors. Students were then divided up into small groups and were given three different bags to sample.
On each bag was a question mark. Your little ones were encouraged to keep their eyes closed as they reached into the bag.
They then selected a piece of food and ate it with their eyes still closed. Following this, they were asked to guess what it was they were eating. The three choices were crackers, cereal, and popcorn. Everyone loved snacking on their surprise foods with their friends! This helped isolate their sense of taste. They also had so much fun in the process!
Our senses allow us to enjoy our food, the sound of music, the beauty of a sunny day, the softness of a child’s hair — in short, our lives! We rely on our five senses to provide information about the world around us.
Just the thought of a special holiday dinner brings to mind many observations made through the senses — the smell of dinner cooking, the sound of holiday music, the taste of freshly baked cookies, and more. Children may recognize the importance of their senses, but they don’t often focus on them individually.
With the help of a few activities, your little one learned how to identify their senses and put them to use in the classroom. For this activity, we talked about our sense of smell with these special sniffing jars! Using only their noses, students sniffed the contents of four different jars, guessing their contents.
In one jar was lavender oil, in another was orange extract, in another was vanilla extract, and lastly, was cacao powder. Your little ones enjoyed sniffing and then re-sniffing the different jars, guessing at what was in them, and having fun while doing so!
For this activity, we celebrated our sense of sight by creating rainbow sensory bottles. What are sensory bottles?
Sensory bottles are created by upcycling water bottles and filling them with an array of items, such as colorful beads and sequins.
The purpose is for young children to use their senses to explore the bottles. Since we are learning all about our sense of sight, this activity help us isolate and understand this sense all the more.
Using bath beads, spoons, and water bottles your little ones created sensory bottles for the whole class to enjoy!
A child’s self-portrait can reveal many things.
As with any drawing, it shows the development of a child’s fine motor, observation and focusing skills.
But it also can give insight into a child’s self-concept.
In other words, it’s the best way for a grown-up to see a child through that child’s own eyes.
How do these little ones perceive and represent themselves?
For this activity, your little one created a self-portrait using a mirror and watercolors!Using the mirror as their canvas, students looked upon their reflections and painted what they saw.
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 had to guess what an object was, solely using their sense of touch!
Using a variety of items placed into tissue boxes, your little ones closed their eyes and reached into the boxes, guessing at what they would find, laughing as they did so!
Plastic eggs serve many purposes. They can be sought out, filled with goodies, and in our case, used as a teaching medium!
During the course of our Feelings Week, we talked about emotions, and the muscles we use in our faces to create them. We learned that one can express happiness not only with their mouths but with their eyes! To help reinforce this concept, we created a variety of emotion-faces with plastic eggs. Because plastic eggs consist of two components, the top half was affixed with eyes and a nose, while the bottom half contained a mouth. With a simple twist, your little ones created a great number of silly and not so silly expressions!
Fine motor activities are the most difficult for young children to practice on a consistent basis. Because they are mobile and constantly on the move, they tend to prefer gross motor activities such as jumping, running, pulling, and pushing.
To continue to hone these necessary skills, your little one participated in a special activity designed to build and refine the small muscles in their hands. Experiences such as these aid your little one’s ability to grasp a writing instrument, manipulate tiny objects, and handle scissors.
For this activity, your little one was directed to grab the letters of their name with a clothespin. Their task was to maintain a firm grip on the clothespin as they placed it into a matching letter.
All letters were vertical, so they worked from top to bottom, enjoying themselves in the process!
During our week of name-based activities, we used a variety of mediums to compose our names. To help your little one identify the letters in their names in a new way, a sensory component was added to our curriculum for the week.
Using rice, magnetic letters, and paper letters, your little one spelled their name, yet again! With their thinking minds, they dug around in a bowl of rice, searching for magnetic letters, and matching them to paper ones. After finishing this task, they were asked to both name and enunciate the letters in their names, laughing as they did so!
The tactile experience (touching a letter with your finger) is important for building a memory trace. 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. For this activity, we talked about the letters in our names.
We discussed words that begin with the first letter; and then broke up additional letters into their component parts. Using our fingers, we moved to our writing trays, where we traced (with some help from Miss Carrie) the letters in our name, using rainbow paint and glitter.