Saturday, January 21, 2012

Learning Through Play

Children learn so much on their own as they play. The pictures below will show you how we allow the children to naturally play so they can challenge themselves.

These three girls are playing with the animals together
and the range of ages is from 18 months - 30 months.
The youngest one is engaging in parallel play
while the other two are talking and interacting with each other.
This type of play strenghtens their language, social and emotional development.

These children started to play with the plastic zoo animals and a woodpecker house.
They were figuring out which animals fit in the hole
and how to get the animal out once they placed the animal in the hole.
A lot of cognitive development and social play in this activity.

I love when older and younger toddlers play with one another.
One of the reasons why we have mixed age groups in our toddler and infant program.
This younger toddler is looking at what the older toddler is doing
and immitating her.

This is a prime example of imitation.
How many parents sit next to their child and read a book to them before bedtime?
Again, a younger toddler (15 months) interacting with an older toddler (3 years).

Ms. Lee built a roadway with a tunnel for the kids to roll a ball through.

This is what the toddler do just before naptime.
They are allowed to sit together or alone and read a book
while we clean up and change diapers after lunch.

Bringing the Outside In Lesson

Now that the temperatures have become cooler and often wet too, we are inside more than ever.
But that does not stop us from having fun with nature!
Our current lesson is all about bringing the outdoors in.
One of the first activities we did was paint with mud, after we made it of course.
And playing in dirt.
You can imagine the fun the toddlers had!

Mad Science

Mad Science came to visit us and showed us how fun mixing can be!

These two pictures are showing what happens when vinegar and baking soda are mixed together.
It makes a ton of white bubbles!

We are seeing how water and vinegar do not mix.
The toddlers watched the blue water seperate from the oil
after they stopped shaking the container.

We are making our own play dough! 
These toddlers watches the color tablets bubble after adding water to it.

Now we are mixing some white powder to our colored water.
The play dough is now being made.

Each of the toddlers got a cookie cutter to take home along with the play dough.

Our Names Lesson

We did a quick lesson on names. The younger toddlers were beginning to say all of their friends names and the older toddlers were beginning to recognize their name on the cubbies. For our lesson, we played games to help us recognize the first letter of our name and did activities around the toddlers as individuals.

Below are pictures of the toddlers having their bodies traced and they colored the outline of their body, then I wrote their name on their paper, saying each letter as I wrote it.  I went around intending to take a picture of one of the toddlers laying on top of their paper. The rest of the toddler saw what I was doing and they all laid down on their paper wanting me to take their picture!

We made a chart to see how long our names were. The toddlers could pick out the color they wanted me to write their name, I said the letters in their name as I wrote them, and we counted the letters. Later on I noticed the toddlers looking at the names and finding their own name and sometimes their friend's name.

The toddlers are feeling their names! Cool huh?!
Their names were written in glue and after the glue dried the children could feel them.
We also placed a piece of paper on their names and rubbed a crayon over their name.