Building On Our Grate Exploration

Building On Our Grate Exploration

This week we will discuss:
Building, Grates, and Slopes


This week the sprouts have been manipulating the blocks and loose parts.  Their building has become more purposeful.  Instead of the usual “towers”, we are seeing more structures such as stairs, slides and diving boards.  This trend of structures also ties into the sprouts current interest in slope like objects. Other building techniques have become more complex. We have observed our usual enclosure creations, however now the friends are adding new kinds of materials to enclose and even attempting to enclose their bodies within their building structures.



Last week the sprouts discovered the grates and began creating. This week we continued this exploration.  On Monday, after last weeks interest in “trapping” people in the grates, we decided to link the grates together to create and encloseable space. The friends quickly called this the “cage”. They took turns sitting in the enclosure and poking things out of the holes. Noticing the interest with putting toys through the holes of the grate we decided to continue this exploration in art. On Tuesday during art with Ms. Amy, we decided to build off the grates! We added wooden planks and cardboard ramps. We were curious to see what the sprouts would do with this set up. It was interesting to watch them deconstruct the arranged pieces and reassemble them on their own. They took the planks and ramps out of openings in the grate and reinserted them into other places. They at one point during the exploration removed all of the additional pieces and returned to enclosing themselves in the grate or “cage”. The sprouts also continued painting through the grate onto the paper. Some friends make large marks that fill the small squares of the grid. Other friends, make small markings that only cover a small portion of the square. Other friends make marks so large they span across multiple squares of the painting. Noticing the interest in pushing items through the grid like pattern of the grate, we added a collapsible wine rack to the classroom. The friends enjoyed opening and closing the rack, but also pushing items through the openings.


The sprouts have continued their exploration of the planks on the playground.  As they interact with them more, they begin to find new ways the can be utilized.  Last week the planks created bridges. At the beginning of this week the sprouts were walking up and down the ramps they made.  Soon they began to roll objects and slide their bodies down the planks. This interest of slope is present in their building creations as mentioned before, but also in their other explorations around the playground. On Thursday, friends found wheels on the playground and began rolling them down the slide. If placed upright the wheel would roll down the slide, but if placed sideways or flat, the wheel would slowly slide down. Regardless of the way the wheel moved, the friends cheered and ran after the wheel each time!


What now?

As the sprouts continue their explorations next week, we would like to ask; “what kind of materials do you have around your house that could help support the interest of enclosing and or movement?
What sparks the interest in movement? It is quite interesting actually because the roots began their exploration with sliding wheels and logs down the slide so the roots teachers added the wooden planks to the playground to continue their exploration. Reversely, our sprouts encountered the sloped planks first and then explored dropping things down the slide. Is this a coincidence or is there more to this sloped cycle? What other materials can we add? Are they interested in the way the things move down, or just the fact that it creates an inclined surface unlike the rest of the ground? What other surfaces do they encounter like this? Ramps in public buildings, stairs, hills in parks or trails? Is it the act of things moving up and down, similar to our pulley system? Is there a significance to both these interests being explored currently or is that just a coincidence?

Have a great weekend!
Love always Ms. Shawna, Ms. Madison, and Ms. Lala