For Earth day the children and teachers made a bird feeder using a large plastic cookie container and some branches from the school-yard. Holes were punched through the container for the branches to sit in and a large window was cut out from the front for the birds to enter.
We placed wild bird feed inside for the finishing touch. The children enjoyed exploring with the leafy branches that were used as everyone was pulling the leaves off one by one, scattering them all over the mats outside.
In our effort to invite the birds to come near our room where the children can see them, we hung our bird feeder outside our door on the back fence.
This provocation utilized loose parts with natural objects. The experience encourages the children’s natural curiosity and inventiveness pertaining to the world around them. Using materials that could be moved around and tinkered with allows for more interaction and the opportunity to experiment, engage, construct and invent.
In doing so the children strengthened their fine motor skills by pulling apart the leaves of the branches. At this age the children are beginning to control their grasp and flexibility in their hands. Pulling apart the leaves from the branches gave them the opportunity to improve their ability of visually focusing on something and paying attention to what they are doing.
These are crucial skills for future learning endeavors as the children develop. The stronger skill set they have on being mentally conscious of their actions gives them the ability to retain more information that will enhance their learning experiences in the long-term. It is important for the children to explore their sense of control naturally in a productive and positive environment.
“Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.” –Salvador Dali
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