With fly swatters and paper lily pads, we practiced counting with this exciting math activity! Each child was given three lily pads with flies drawn on them. Various numbers were affixed to each fly. We initiated this activity with a discussion of the numbers involved, and then clapped the amount of each. Your budding mathematician was then shown a card with a number on it. They were then directed to hit their “flies” with the amount displayed on the card. This provided a forum for talking about “more” and “less”, counting to nine, concepts such as adding and subtracting, and more vocabulary associated with the frog! By relating mathematical concepts to things that children are naturally curious about, such as animals, they are more engaged and intrinsically motivated to learn!
Throughout the week, we have been talking about the life cycle of the frog – from its transformation as an egg to a tadpole, a tadpole with two legs to a froglet, and its final progression to becoming an adult frog. To foster an understanding of the various life cycles, your little one combined cucumbers, raisins, and pretzels as a means to create their very own amphibians! When children construct their own version of recently acquired material, they learn invaluable lessons that stay with them throughout their lives. As they mix their ingredients, and see their creation come to life, the sense of ‘I did it’ is a very important lesson they learn. As they receive the credit for their creation, they become proud of their actions, and have increased self-regard as a result. Lastly, working together encourages creativity, bonding, planning, thinking, and time management.
Using paper lily pads, leaves, water, plastic frogs, and “frog eggs”, we created a pond habitat for some of our favorite amphibians! We discussed the life cycle of the frog, where different frogs live, what they eat, and how they survive within their slippery environments! Sensory play allows children to form mental images about what they are seeing. Adults already do this naturally, but in young children, it is still developing. Combining water, “frog eggs”, and the lily pads also provides a forum for the scientific exploration of cause and effect. Your little ones discovered that the vulnerable frog eggs can be hidden by creating nests from foliage as they enjoyed manipulating and creating little “houses” for their favorite tadpoles and frogs. Lastly, prosocial interactions are fostered as children discuss and share their experiences with one another.