Sensory play is a doorway to many learning opportunities for children of all age groups. The children enjoy pouring and mixing materials, using their hands and coordination to experiment with their fine motor skills. This hands-on experience give them a chance to explore their curiosity and imagination, leading them to abstract and realistic ways of thinking, and carrying them on to projects of their own…
One morning, a group of children discovered a cup of flour, salt, and water sitting at the table in their kitchen area. Immediately, the children began talking amongst themselves, assigning each other a role in combining these ingredients. They made an entire morning of it! ;-P
While they were mixing, some of the children wanted to add water, but then they noticed the mixture was too watery! So they asked for flour.
As they were making their own play-dough, they decided to use their hands. They were flattening the dough and making tortillas. Mmm!
Next, we decided to make tortillas for our cooking project. So the children volunteered to bring ingredients and one child even brought a tortilla press!
First, the children went over the ingredients and measurements. They are becoming very familiar with the basic ingredients such as flour, salt, eggs, and sugar. They are also beginning to understand the basic measuring system for cooking, such as cups, tablespoons, and teaspoons. They enjoy counting measurements as they pour them into the mixture. Next, they mixed the mixture until it became dough and rolled it flat. After they cut a circle from the dough, they used the tortilla press to flatten it more. This was fun!
After the tortillas were made, the children spread butter on their tortillas. Some wanted honey! They children thought the tortillas were yummy!
Every week, the children use their creativity and imagination in the kitchen area. Sometimes, they are just pretending, while other times they are expressing emotions or memories from home. When given different materials, they like to use this area to create a recipe of their own. When they show their interest in a recipe, we find one and make it from scratch. While doing so, the children are improving their math and reading skills such as one-to-one correspondence, measuring, and following directions or reading the ingredients!