One morning, we presented the children with an array of ingredients in order to make brownies! It is always nice to see the excitement on the children’s faces when a new ingredient is in reaching distance. They can’t wait to get their hands on it and investigate!
Is it heavy? Is it light? Is it smooth? Is it rough? Can I push it? Can I smash it?
Which, by the way, they loved cracking the eggs!
Next, it was time to cut and smash the butter.
Some of the students were not that excited to get the slimy butter on their hands.
Others couldn’t wait to dive in!
They were trying so hard to gain full control over the plastic utensil.
We admire such concentration!
Other students even offered to lend a hand!
Next, it was time to pour the sugar!
He couldn’t resist putting his hand in the bag and seeing what was in there.
That texture feels strange on my fingers!
The rest of the students watched in amazement. They could not wait to get their hands on the ingredients!
She was quietly exploring the texture of the sugar.
One of the students wanted to help her pour the sugar!
It was a pleasant surprise to notice during all of this commotion, two students were having an interesting conversation about a book off to the side. We love the independence and freedom that the students are given in order to create their own discoveries in class.
He discovered a better way to fill the measuring cup.
And some of the other children decided to follow his method of filling the cup!
More students decided to join in on the fun!
We had almost filled our measuring cup with the correct amount of cocoa powder until one of the students decided to pour all of the powder back into the container!
We all started laughing! The students were telling us something, and as educators we needed to observe them and listen! They did not care that we were actually mixing these ingredient to create an end product to eat. The students wanted to explore mixing, textures, filling a containers, and pouring!
Let the experimentation begin!
“D” created amazing curved lines with the cocoa powder. He was amazed that his own hands were making these lines!
His strokes became faster and more forceful!
“B” was quietly exploring the thin layer of powder that covered the measuring cup. He softly made a trail of finger prints across the top of it.
Another student noticed the fun and decided they needed more powder to explore with! He poured the remaining powder on the table!
The students got to work!
We were having so much fun, we almost forgot about the flour!
“A” thought he could handle the job and hold the heavy flour bag!
We got this pouring thing down!
“B” discovered how nice the flour felt as he pour it over his hands.
Mixing our last ingredients together!
It is always nice to help our friends!
The children finished creating their brownie mixture that morning and later that evening they enjoyed a delicious brownie treat!
However, after the recipe was finished, the teachers invited the students to continue to explore the ingredients if they were interested in it!
We feel very strongly about allowing young children to learn through experience and not just through lecture. These children need to use their senses and be engaged in meaningful experiences. As we talk with them about what they are observing and sensing, we are giving them new language tools to connect with these more familiar sensory tools, building language as well as supporting cognitive concepts specific to the experience.
Through this sort of play, the children used all of their senses in the process of exploration, especially the sense of touch!
This exploration even made it’s way on to our clothes! What a wonderful mess!!
We had to take a picture of the final four cooks!
Covered in ingredients and filled with a great exploration experience!