The Pre School class recently made eggs, cupcakes, and ice cream out of play dough and other loose materials. The children worked on their fine motor skills by molding the dough, creativity by coming up with the idea to form food ingredients, and mathematics by counting the number of spaces in the egg carton to make sure they’re all filled.
During the activity, the children engaged in wonderful conversations as well and helped each other when needed. In order to coordinate the “ingredients,” the children communicated with each other to finish the project the way they desired.
According to Walter Drew, when children work and play together in groups, they learn to appreciate not only their own ideas and ways of doing things, but also each other’s. A child can learn that others have interesting methods and ideas that are worth paying attention to and that can contribute to his or her interests as well. In our project, the children were excited to be working together and were deeply connected to a sense of themselves. We know this because they did not look for external motivation or recognition.
To read more about playing with open-ended materials and working with others, click here.