Hello Sprouts Families!
This week we will discuss transformation play, the sensory bin, and mark making with paint and tinfoil as well as with the light table.
The Sprouts are getting very creative with their use of props in their transformation play. It seems like every item has multiple uses. We noticed children using the basket that held rocks as a sifter in the sand. We added strainers to build upon this interest. When they discovered the strainers they called them “fishing nets.” The grey circle cushions that are frequently used for jumping on like lily pads became pizza. One day they found a rope outside and turned it into a firehose. They became firefighters and used the hose to put the fire out. They worked together to hold the hose, like a true firefighting team. Another day they happened upon some black tubes outside. One of them had a curved piece on the top. Nolen decided it was a telescope for a submarine. He held it up to his eye to search for boats and his friends joined in with tubes of their own. Zachary and Nolen experimented with hitting the tubes against the metal fence posts. The sound it created reminded them of music and just like that the tubes became instruments for playing Jingle Bells.
We continue to have lots of monsters lurking around our classroom. This week William decided to add the cardboard cylinders to his arms when he was pretending to be a monster. When he transformed into something else, he dropped the cylinders on the floor, as if he was shedding his monster parts. Monsters interacted with superheroes, and robots made an appearance too. This could have been because we named one of our small groups “the robots” and have been practicing gathering using this name. There’s also still a lot of interest in caring for the baby dolls. The children are finding different spaces and objects that can be used as the babies’ bed. With all of the interest in transformation play we added more transformation play materials to our classroom: pots, pans, spatulas, spoons, and colorful shape blocks. We are interested to see if the children will start to cook for the babies with these new materials, or if they will use them for something completely different.
Mark Making: Foil Paint
Over the past weeks we have observed the interest in mark making. Last week we tried using cotton swabs on the plexiglass to remove the paint because we had noticed an interest in making marks by removing the material. Attempting to support this interest we wanted to find a material that wouldn’t absorb the paint right away and would provide the opportunity to remove the paint and result in marks. We decided to paint on tinfoil. This material is very shiny and provides a different texture to create upon. Unlike paper, the tin foil doesn’t just absorb the paint, so as the friends mark upon it and move their brush through, the shine of the tinfoil is still somewhat visible through the paint. After exploring just the tinfoil and paint for a few days we added cotton swabs to their exploration to see if they would attempt to remove the paint even more, however most just used the cotton swabs as another tool to spread the paint. Similarly we explored shaving cream and paint again on the large plexiglass structure and noticed that most of the children only used the cotton swabs to move the paint around. Out of all of the tools, we are still noticing that most friends prefer to use their hands over anything else, which at this age is very much expected.
Mark Making- Light Table
This week we covered the light table in white paper and provided pens to draw on it. It was really interesting to observe, but something about drawing on the light table really drew them in many of the friends chose to lay their heads onto the table and draw in a small area. Ovee is one friend that we notice doing this often, but others perhaps were inspired by this and they did the same. It was interesting to watch their focus and the small lines they slowly made. While others stuck to their usual large and rushed marks spanning the size of the paper.
After noticing an interest in exploring some of the water containers we had out last week, we decided to fill the sensory bin with water in order to support this curiosity. We started with sponges and containers in the bin. They enjoyed soaking up the water in the sponges and then squeezing with all their muscles to empty it out. They used the containers to scoop and pour the water, a common fascination we have seen over and over again. However, unlike other times we had water in the bin in the classroom, this time the friends made the executive decision to add the animals, rocks, wood people pegs and more into the bin. We were hesitant at first to add all of these materials into the bin, worrying that it would lead to water being tracked all across the classroom. We discussed what could go into the bin and what might get damaged if we put it in the water. The friends did very well keeping the wet things in the bin and if they wanted to take them out they brought them over to the sink and dried them off. The responsibility and care they showed for the bin and the materials encouraged us to take the bin to a different level. Inspired by their interest in mark making and the addition of the animals to the water, we decided to add paint to the sensory bin and encouraged the friends to dip the animals in paint and walk them across paper.
We have been closely observing children’s experiences in the areas of mark making, transformation play, sensory play, and building. The overarching theme that seems to be present in all these experiences is movement. Our children love to move. They love to run, jump, and climb. They love to pick up different tools and make long curvy lines using the full extension of their arms. They love to use the same tools to make dots and splotches, lifting their hands up and down in quick motions. They love to spread their fingers and take their whole hands to spread paint, shaving cream, and sand over large spaces. They love to build complex structures, pick them up, and transport them. They love to take their babies to a new home, the doctor’s office, on a trip, or an adventure. As monsters and monster hunters they explore every nook and cranny of their outdoor and indoor spaces and quickly move around when the monster approaches them or when they are seeking the monster. Anything we put in the sensory table stimulates big movements. They chose to throw the cotton balls, splash in the water, and cover the animals in paint before making tracks on the wall. We want to continue to support our children’s need and desire to move, move, move.
Have a great weekend!
Ms. Rebekah, Ms.Madison, and Ms.Lala