Lego Hearts

Since we are learning about Valentines Day, we decided to create our very own Lego hearts! To accomplish this, your little one was given a picture of a Lego heart as a visual organizer.

heartlego

We then sorted our Legos into the various shapes on the heart. This activity fulfilled several developmental tasks. First, your little one learned about the various shapes of Legos by pairing the visual shape with the three-dimensional object.

heartlego1

Secondly, we discussed several vocabulary words, such as right, left, on top, and around. Lastly, your budding mathematician practiced several premath skills, such as patterning and sequence making.

heartlego2

Advertisements

Magnetic Hearts

After magnetic rocks were found in the desert centuries ago, people have tinkered around with them and found all sorts of inventive ways to use the push and pull of polarized materials. You’ll find magnets everywhere these days, even colorful magnetic alphabet letters.

20150209_153520

For this activity, your little ones learned about what magnetism is and how it works.

20150209_152517

First, it was explained that when magnetism was first documented, the Greek philosopher Thales of Milletus (585 BC) noticed that a certain stone (called lodestone) stuck to metals made with iron. Other materials, such as rubber and wood, didn’t have that effect. Your little one would soon discover why! They were then handed a magnetic wand. Next, it was explained that some things would stick to the magnet, while others would not.

20150209_152511

Following this, students were given a variety of different materials, noting how some stuck to the wand, while others fell off. Lastly, your budding magnetic masters were given a plastic bottle filled with pipe cleaners in the shape of hearts, watching with glee as they stuck to their wands!

20150209_153551

Dancing Conversation Hearts

This activity allowed all of us to become scientists! Using baking soda, vinegar, water, and conversation hearts, we learned how to make candy dance!

20150211_105545

Students first added a tablespoon of baking soda to their bowls, stirring, and watching it dissolve with the water. Then they carefully picked out a conversation heart and dropped them into the solution. Holding a ramekin, your little ones slowly poured in about 1/4 cup of vinegar.

20150211_105551

Then we sat back and watched with super excitement as the hearts began bobbing up, down and all around the cup. When baking soda is added to the solution, carbon dioxide gas bubbles begin forming.  These gas bubbles stick to the conversation hearts, pulling them up as they rise to the surface. When the gas bubbles burst, the hearts fall back down until enough bubbles form to pull it back up again. The up and down movement makes it appear as though the hearts are wriggling and dancing.

20150211_105107

Manipulating Hearts

Manipulative play is great for young children eager to learn how the environment around them works.

20150213_100011

As children play with manipulatives, they grow an understanding of spacial recognition, concepts of size, shape, and weight, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills.

20150213_100002

We use manipulatives to teach a variety of different things in our classroom.

20150213_095942

For this activity, we used plastic and paper hearts to create the letter H.

20150213_095932

Writing can be especially frustrating for the young child, as they are still strengthening the small muscles in their hands.

20150213_095924

Manipulatives allow them to create letters without the frustration.

20150213_095910

20150213_095915

Engineering with Candy Hearts

Young children are naturally curious.

20150213_152534

They wonder what things are called, how they work, and why things happen.

engineer

The foundations of scientific learning lie in inquiry and exploration — these are the tools of active learning.

engineer1

Fostering young children’s sense of curiosity about the natural world around them can promote a lifelong interest in it.

engineer2

To do so, children need to observe things first-hand as much as possible.

20150213_152519

The younger the children, the simpler and more concrete the activities need to be.

engineer8

For this activity, we used gummy hearts and toothpicks to create structures. This enabled your little ones to become engineers!

engineer7

Though engineering may seem like a daunting task for the preschooler, we use problem-based learning to introduce such concepts.

20150213_153002

Problem-based learning allows students to control the direction and pace of their learning by means of problems that are centered around an open-ended challenge.

engineer4

Activities that promote investigation, creative critical thinking, and hands-on subject matter are central to problem-based learning.

engineer5

engineer6

Counting Hearts

Using candy hearts, we learned about measurement, counting, and numbers! To begin with, each child was given five paper hearts with various numbers written on them.

heartmath

They then placed a number of candy hearts onto each paper, counting as they did so. After this, we talked about what the various numbers look like. Lastly, we recounted our hearts to double check our answers!

20150213_100921

By counting, young children gain an understanding of concrete relationships.

heartmath2

Students also learn that each object gets one number. In gaining insight of these relationships, they acquire a basic understanding of the abstract.

20150213_101223

Children at this age also need such experiences to relay abstract concepts.

heartmath1

They may look at a number on a piece of paper, but not make the association between that number and an amount.

20150213_101349

 

Red Tinsel and the Letter H

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

20150213_104116

20150213_103838

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

20150213_103906

For this activity, we searched for hearts and letter Hs in bins of red tinsel.

20150213_103946

Once these items were located, your little ones were directed to place their Hs onto Hs that were drawn on the sidewalk, and their hearts into heart-shaped bowls.

20150213_103850

The primary cognitive skills sharpened by this sensory play were problem solving and decision making; students were presented with a problem and various materials with which to find a solution.

20150213_103801

This activity also allowed your budding writers to be in complete control of their actions and experiences, which boosted their confidence in decision making and inspired their eagerness to learn and experiment.

20150213_104101

This kind of sensory play also teaches kids about cooperation and collaboration.

20150213_104107

As the children work together or side by side, they learn to understand someone else’s viewpoint.