Tag Archives: light board
In the Castle Room, painting is a staple activity because it serves a variety of way purposes in child development. Through the use of paint, children can express their innermost emotions, convey unique ideas and investigate the concepts of processes and outcomes. It allows them to use their senses of sight and touch to explore color and texture, all while creating aesthetically pleasing works and experiences.
Recently we set up a provocation for our young toddlers on the light board. Our goal was to present the toddlers with an opportunity to learn about colors, light and color, and shapes through hands-on and unstructured play on the light board. The children enjoyed playing with the different shapes, feeling the differences between the varying weight and texture of the objects, and it was a wonderful visual experience!
The children recently took a closer look at pineapple, pumpkin, and cucumber seeds by utilizing the light board. The seed study was inspired by several different projects, however it started with our Edible Leaf Project and Edible Seeds Project.
In order to further the study on seeds and continually develop the project, we placed thin slices of different fruit on the light table. The children loved observing the fruits and immediately began pulling all of the seeds out and lining them up on the light table. Pulling the small and barely visible seeds out from the fruit allowed the children to work on their fine motor skills and develop the muscles in their hands and fingers. After all of the visible seeds were lined up side-by-side, some children began counting them while others created drawings and sketches. Continue reading
While reading a book about the earth during story time, the children became interested in the animals pictured in the book. They were familiar with most of them, however one particular animal sparked their curiosity, and that was a rhinoceros. The enormous size, shape, and features intrigued the children.
To encourage their curiosity, the teachers printed images of a rhino and wrote the word “rhinoceros” and placed this, grey markers, and white paper on the light tables. As the children began trying to draw the rhino, together we identified the pointy horns, counted how many legs a rhinoceros had, and concluded that it is definitely not soft or fluffy. The children made note that the rhino was “all grey” and spoke with each other about the rhino being “big.”
We wanted to keep learning about different aspects of a rhinoceros’ life, so we continued to read many different books about them. Stay tuned for another post… we have a feeling this project is not over with!
This activity highlights how certain projects are started. It’s all based on the child’s interest, what they want to learn about, and expressing their knowledge in as many ways as possible. We believe children are curious and capable human beings who have interests and imaginations that need to be expressed. One of the key ways we are able to succeed in a child-led learning approach is a result of our wonderful teachers. Our teachers at Little Wonders are trained to listen, observe, and then encourage a deeper understanding through art, sensory play, discussions, music, theatre, and more!
Some critics of child-led curriculum say that children don’t have as many opportunities to learn because they don’t know enough about the world. We don’t think that’s true at all, and that’s because of our view of children… capable human beings who deserve respect and a chance to express their knowledge. Moreover, it’s rare that a study on a food, animal, or job stays stagnant on that one topic. Our projects are constantly evolving. What may start as a study on a rhinoceros can transform into a study on animals that have horns, the differences between reptiles, mammals, and amphibians, and a study on the continents and countries where rhino’s live.
In easier terms, our curriculum is based on the children’s passions and pursuits that we observe from their dialogue and play. The whole process is about collaboration, learning with the children, and instilling a love of learning into them!
In the toddler 2 class, we decided to continue our study on citrus fruit by lining up the fruit on the light table for a different sensory experience and interactive experiment! We matched the watercolor paint to the shades of the fruit and displayed images of the exact same fruit. Moreover, we even had a bowl with pre-cut slices for the children to hold, smell, and taste (since we knew they would want to put the fruits in their mouths!)
The children spent most of the time exploring the fruit and increasing their vocabulary. At first they were referring to all of the fruit as “apples,” but they gradually progressed into calling the fruits by their correct names: lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange, etc.