Garden Sensory Bin

Every garden offers children a rich, sensory playground, full of interesting things to discover and learn about.

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There’s a whole lot of science happening right before their eyes.

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The garden can also be a place to develop math and literacy skills, as the outdoors offers up plenty of invitations to count seeds and learn new plant names.

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The garden classroom is a place where plants grow, and where children grow too. For this activity, we used soil, seeds, shovels, plant labels (toothpicks with pictures on them), and our imaginations to create our very own garden!

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Students worked together to create their very own masterpiece of flowers. oranges. cucumbers, and other exciting foliage to help them be the best gardeners they could be!

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Rainbow Acoustics

The presence of music in young children’s lives can sometimes be taken for granted. In most early childhood classrooms, children and teachers sing a song or two at circle time. Parents often sing lullabies and traditional rhymes to their young children. Nevertheless, there is a growing awareness that music is underused and underaddressed in early childhood education. In the early years, musical aptitude is still developing. Infancy and early childhood are prime times to capitalize on children’s innate musical spontaneity, and to encourage their natural inclinations to sing, move, and play with sound.

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When offered a variety of implements, children play with the different tones they hear. For this activity, we poured water into different containers. Some were made of glass; some of metal, and some were made of plastic. We also experimented with quantity. Some of our containers had only a small amount of water, while others were filled to the top. Using a metal spoon, they gently tapped each container. Our final component involved the fun and “messy” portion of our activity. Using turkey basters, spoons, small cups, and bowls, we mixed our colored water among the different containers. In addition to its musical advantages, this segment invited your child to experiment with math concepts such as more/less, same/different, empty/full, before/after, greater than/less than, and counting.  By exploring and “messing around,” your budding musicians discovered that they can make one sound by hitting one container and a different sound while hitting another!

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Q is for Quail

There are many myths surrounding the Thanksgiving feast. According to historians, this festive celebration most likely occurred between September 21st and November 11th in 1621. Though turkey is the professed staple of this holiday, it is more likely that the American Indians introduced our colonist friends to an array of fowl.

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Having never experienced a North American winter, these newcomers were inexperienced in gathering and hunting the sustenance necessary for their survival. The Wampanoag Indians remedied this situation by introducing the Pilgrims to quails.

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Your little pilgrim learned about the history of the quail, and its role in the Thanksgiving celebration. They then used feathers, plastic eyes, pipe cleaners, and clay to create their own version of a quail.

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Manipulating malleable materials, like clay, has a calming affect on young children. As they roll, coil, and mold their creations into an observable shape, they are engaging in a process of discovery and exploration. Clay also provides immediate tactile and visual feedback.

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Peanut Farming

The United States is one of the world’s most prominent suppliers of peanuts! These tasty legumes grow best in loose soil, and adapt readily to a variety of different climates. With shovels, flowers, peanuts, tractors, and farmers, we created our own peanut farms! Your little one learned that peanut plants form flowers, and that they are harvested in stages. We practiced loosening our soil and burying our peanuts beneath our flowers. The second stage of harvesting required separating our peanuts from the flowers, so we did that as well!
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