We are almost two weeks into our latest adventure at WT North Pre-K. This class of small scientists has been flowing right into the new routines. We’ve been slowly introducing materials and tools, allowing the children to become comfortable with the use and care of each before adding something new. As they play in this novel setting, we’ve had many opportunities to observe and wonder along with them.
A wandering spider
We found this yellow garden spider outside and observed it for two days. Attempting to catch some lunch for our spidery visitor. Observing a yellow garden spider can be creepy and funny. Open exploration of loose parts
When new materials are explored, simple arrangements usually dominate in the beginning. This “mouse” added string to the project. Then we get more complicated, trying to add height. This child decided to represent the tubes with tape instead of constructing. Being inspired by the mouse, faces began appearing. This idea came about 30 minutes into the exploration. It is much more abstract and uses very unusual junk pieces. With time to explore, children dive deeper into their thinking. Chalk on the outside
Day 1 of Chalk: Notice the joy of “messing about” with the materials. The board is full of all types of thick and thin lines, covering almost all of the surface. Day 2: We added cups of water and paintbrushes. Note the care and precision used this time. They are taking their exploration deeper and putting more thought into their use of the materials. Someone noticed that if you put the chalk in the water, it will change the water’s color. This led to other experiments such as applying wet chalk directly to the paintbrush. Our scientists decided that the best way to achieve desired results was to use a more organic method of chalk and water application. Ramps and cars
When the cars were added to the blocks, simple walls were built to contain them. One of the children discovered our aluminium ramps hidden in a corner. This inspired increasingly complex buildings, now including ramps. Here you can see the walls have transformed into a two-story parking garage. There was some confusion on the ramp. To solve the problem, they created a sign demonstrating the intended traffic flow. More signs were added as the play continued. This building was built within the first few minutes by a child sitting near, but not playing directly with the other children. 20 minutes later, it had grown into a car fix-it shop with ramps for getting under the cars and working on their wheels. Water table science
Trying to fill the clear container using water from another bin. Do you see anything that might cause a problem? Whoosh! Once they realized the water was leaking out, they replaced the plug and filled the bin to the top. Removing the plug was quite satisfying. As it began to trickle, scoops became buckets, filling slowly.