Giant Loose Parts
Giant loose parts, such as tires and our new milk crates, offer an opportunity for design and building be entire body experiences. When they are not being stacked and knocked over, the milk crates are often a long train with an open spot in each train car. The children line them up and join forces to share in a group imaginative exploration. They explore social roles and practice incorporating other’s creative ideas. The tires stacked upon the tree stumps became a flock of boats. They sailed to the park, to their home, and into the ocean. The tires laying flat on the ground became gardens to fill with dirt and plant vegetables.
Mud Clay and Dirt
The children explored many natural materials created by the effect of the rain. The mulch rolled down the hill became soft and perfect for making dinner cakes. The mud puddles became a material for exploration with a wide range of texture: solid mud made for good cakes and stirring material. We painted with liquid mud and clay. Lastly, our friends had so much fun tilling and preparing our garden soil. After softening the soil, we had the opportunity to watch two earth worms dig their way into the soil and vanish away. The children were so patient watching the worm dig, inch by inch until it disappeared.
“You can do it worm!” – Sam Black
The Sky is Moving
Looking up into the sky on these unusually beautiful days, Reed and Savannah noticed that the clouds were moving. We wondered why they moved and where they were going. In the afternoon, we gathered around our mirror table to observe ourselves and the sky. We even lied down and just looked up into the sky to watch the clouds pass. One by one, the children came over to lie down and look up, a wonderful way to wind down on Friday.
Rolling, Ramps, and Bowling
It started with a few wood cookies down the tiny wooden ramp, then we expanded to rolling things down the hill. When a teacher stacked a few wooden blocks for bowling, it became and exciting new game. When Friday welcomed us with a wonderfully messy mud pile at the bottom of the slide, the children began dumping bowls down the slide. We quickly grabbed some paper and turned the experience into painting. We extended the mud fun by painting our fence with mud and mixing some bottled mud with watercolors. Come see our painting next to classroom door the goes out to playground!
Carrots and Potatoes
We have made so much progress in the garden this week. Our friends showed interest in every aspects of the garden. We pulled the baby carrots we planted months ago and tasted them, after washing them of course. This experience is memorable because our friends are able to make the connection between food and gardening and understand the idea that we grow our food and what we plant now we can reap and eaten later.
“It’s a baby carrots!” – Julia
“Can we eat them?” – Jacob
During morning meeting, the Red Line explored the potatoes we hope to grow this summer. Our friends were very familiar with potatoes and told many stories about cooking with them at home. before we laid them in the soil, we played hot potato and used a potato to take turn talking rather then our talking circle. It was surprisingly successful as our friends were eager to hold the potatoes while sharing.