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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Sensory Prairies

Children (and adults) learn best and retain the most information when they engage their senses.

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By giving children the opportunity to investigate materials with no preconceived knowledge, you’re helping them develop and refine their cognitive, social and emotional, physical, creative and linguistic skillsets.

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These sensory experiences provide open-ended opportunities where the process is more important than the product; how children use materials is much more important than what they make with them.

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For this activity, we explored the physical properties of a prairie using colored rice. As your little ones manipulated the rice with their hands, they used many different words to describe its texture and temperature, giggling with their friends as they did so!

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