The toddlers have been doing an amazing job with their curriculum planning. They spent most of one morning diligently moving gravel from one corner of the yard to another. They started by using the shovels to place the gravel on the little tree slices;
Then they carried the tree slices from the NE corner of the yard – carefully so the gravel didn’t fall off – past all the obstacles;
Around the hill to the SW corner of the yard where they dumped the gravel into a bowl;
Sure, if they were into ‘products’ it would have been easier to just sat here and fill their bowls up quickly but they like the ‘process’. This process involved fine motor, gross motor, cognitive skills, cooperation and a whole lot more.
Then there was the music – banging pots and pans;
Creating rhythms with sticks on drums;
Singing through the big hose to create special sound effects;
At one point all four of them were involved in a rousing rendition of ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ – it was amazing – just ask my neighbours 😉
Then there was ‘gym class’ where they practiced climbing up, dancing on, and jumping off the big stumps;
Over in the garden there was story time – they love to tell Grandpa Tree amazing stories;
Grandpa Tree is a wonderful listener – waiting patiently all day long to hear anything you want to share with him.
Yes, the toddlers planned the perfect curriculum – I couldn’t have done any better.
There are mirrors all over my house – I counted them and let’s just say there are a lot of them. Some of the mirrors serve a useful purpose but many of them are simply part of the décor. It is the mirrors in the play room that I want to talk about today. There are currently five mirrors in the play room. There is the big one under the loft;
There is another one by the dress-up clothes in the housekeeping area;
I put a little mirror near the floor in the music area. I thought the baby might enjoy having this one here when he was getting some tummy time on the floor. However, I noticed that he never really paid much attention to it but several of the older children spent time laying on the floor and checking out this new perspective.
On the sensory wall there are two mirrors – one set on a diagonal and one convex mirror for a special effect;
I had several other mirrors in the nature area before I began renovating it. They were removed during demolition and most will be put back eventually when I decide where the best place for them will be. Right now I’m still observing how the children are using the space first.
The big mirror under the loft is the most popular. Often the children use this mirror to watch themselves play. They sit or stand in front of it and experiment by making various facial expressions. Of course singing and dancing in front of the mirror is also very appealing. This fellow is pretending that the loft is a ‘shower’;
This mirror isn’t only used for dramatic play though. Having the blocks under the loft allows the children to use the mirror to add another dimension to building projects too.
The thing I find most interesting though is how often the big mirror is used as ‘screen time’. We never really watch TV or play video games here but the children like to pretend to. Here one of the children has been using the mirror as the screen for a computer;
This group of children is playing a ‘video game’. There are actually dozens of different items that the children use as ‘controllers’ but in this case these three children are playing a ‘two player game’ and instead of getting a third controller they have opted to take turns.
Whether they are pretending to play a video game or watching a movie they narrate what they are ‘seeing’ since no one really sees anything other than their own reflection. It demonstrates their imagination, vocabulary and story telling skills. There is the occasional argument when one child uses a remote to ‘change the channel’ and another child yells “Hey, I was watching that!”
I love mirrors 🙂