Tag Archives: infants

Rosemary Play Dough

Last week, the children were introduced to sensory bottles which, in this case, were bottles filled with herbs and spices like cinnamon and rosemary. Gabby, our Food as a Language atelierista, made the bottles to engage the children’s sense of smell. The experience was a hit, and although the children cannot talk, they spent time smelling and reacting to the array of scents.

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Mud Play & Exploration

One week the teachers took advantage of the recent rainy days and brought the children out to the playground to enjoy some mud play. Through this activity the teachers wanted the children to experience a very important element in our world: nature! Continue reading

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Outdoor Beach

In their exploration of sea shells with the children, the teachers created a beach themed provocation that included a colorful canopy, sand, water, plants, wood and lots of sea shells! For this activity the teachers wanted the children to experience exploring with sea shells in a fun way that many of us are familiar in doing so-by the beach! Continue reading

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Earth Day Exploration

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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“Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.” –Salvador Dali

Reference and additional reading:

Fine Motor Skills Development 

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Sensory Exploration + Gardening

In our efforts to have the infants participate in the gardening experience like the other classes in the school are doing this month, we provided them with the plants and accessories for gardening to stimulate their senses. These plants and accessories were selected on the basis that they would provide experiences for seeing, hearing, touching, and smelling. We wanted to encourage the children to interact with the plants and enjoy their textures, smells and color.

In our first observation we saw that children were very interested in scooping handfuls of the dirt and then slapping it back down on the table. After studying the colorful flowers carefully, they started to then pull them down from the table to explore more closely. Pulling each leaf and petal apart from the stem seemed to be the theme of this exploration for all the children. They were really fascinated with their textures. Even interested in the sound of the plastic container in which they came in, they would squeeze it repeatedly in their hands, listening to its crackly sound. Others enjoyed banging the small hand shovels on the ceramic pots.

This sensory experience is beneficial for the toddlers because it not only engaged the children to use their senses, but allowed them to be aware that they were using their senses to observe and absorb new information. This provides a foundation for future learning endeavors because the toddlers now have the confidence of their ability to explore and learn through their senses freely.

Keeping with our light study, we also made mirrors one of the accessories of this garden experience. Light and shadow are often overlooked, but are visually important sensory garden elements. Using the mirrors enhanced the visual pleasure of the colorful flowers, making this outdoor experience an amazing one for the children!

 

“I grow plants for many reasons: to please my eye or to please my soul, to challenge the elements or to challenge my patience, for novelty or for nostalgia, but mostly for the joy in seeing them grow.”  -David Hobson

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