The children in the Red Room classroom have been busy builders this month. The children spend long periods of time building during the day. The girls love to build kitty houses as they pretend play, while the boys build castles with dragons and boats to drive through the ocean.
They have started to see “sharks” and “alligators” in the water. While on their boats, they sing “Row Row Row Your Boat” out loud as they are building or while they are moving their tubes which they use as oars. They count the materials that they use while they are building and count how many people they have on their boat.
They start to fight off the alligators to help keep their friends safe and have been working together to create amazing structures. We have added curtains and pieces of fabric as a material for them to use. Giving the children different materials for them to use help them explore and expand the way they think when they build. Some children used it to make a kitty bed while other children used it to make the kitty roof.
Allowing them to explore these materials helps them think of different ways that it can be used. It has become a huge hit with the children. The girls use the fabric and curtains to build homes for their kitty’s as well as princess dresses for themselves. They have come across a few complications while building, but working together, they have found ways to make their homes and structures stable and safe for their kitty’s. Letting the children bring their imagination to life helps them understand in their own way how things work and how they can make amazing things out of simple materials by themselves.
From this project we work on our fine motor skills, gross motor skills, writing skills, literacy skills, and our team building skills. Projects like these help the older children teach the younger ones how to do certain tasks that the younger ones found hard to do. They are working on their team building skills together to get a task done and are learning how to communicate with each other more clearly.
We hope that this project will expand by the children using much more challenging materials to use to build and for them to understand the process that they go through to make the structures and be able to explore and build different things. With our “alligators and sharks”, our children have been discussing what the animals eat and how their mouths work. With their hands, they have been practicing their fine motor skills to practice how the alligators mouth moves and how they move through the water. The children got to see a picture of a real alligator with its mouth open and we tried to count how many teeth it had.
They have drawn and painted their alligators and we help them pay close attention to the animals facial features such as how many eyes, where the nose is located, etc. We sing our own version of the Five Little Monkeys with an Alligator before story time every day.