Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Our Sensory Space.

We are really loving the sensory room that we have set up in our spacious bathroom.  Because it is a designated space it makes it a little easier to go in there multiple times a day and offer interesting and different experiences for the children.  We currently have a large bin of corn/wheat/jewels that can be brought out as needed.  We have a water table that we have been using for water/snow/ice play.  We have a table for painting.  And we have an over head projector to use as well. We usually play some classical, serene music quietly in the background.  It's nice to have the variety of choices ready to go as needed.

With our very busy classroom this winter I feel it is imperative to give the children ample time and ways to stimulate their senses in discovery and wonder.

Today a little boy asked me several times if he could use the over head projector.  Unfortunately it was lunch time and then nap time and we couldn't do it then. But when he woke up my co-worker opened the sensory room and plugged in the projector for him.  For a while he had the room to himself as his friends were still sleeping.


He placed all the items available to him on the glass.


That's a mirror on the wall behind the projector to add dimension and interesting reflection.


Beauty.


We hung a dark sheet on the opposite wall for the light reflection.  Above the sheet I hung a branch that you can just see here. The sheet hangs over the half gate that we had installed giving privacy.  With the half gate and the sheet down the group of children in the space is controlled and they can focus on their work/play. We are still developing this space but it is starting to be really cozy and beautiful.


After he placed everything on the screen he then cleared it all off again.


He carefully sorted all of the items into each bowl.


I watched him experimenting with pouring all of the snowflakes out of the bowl.  That made an interesting, artistic effect on the screen. 




I know this experience was rich and satisfying to him.  I know that experiences such as this are rich and satisfying to me and my co-workers.  When children are engaged and learning what they want to, they are fulfilled and therefore we are fulfilled as educators.  I went home today marking this lovely experience as a highlight of the day!




 

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Pretending.

I learned a song called "Miss Polly Had a Dolly" way back when I was eighteen years old and was taking my Early Childhood Education classes. It's been a long time since I was eighteen, but this little song has just stuck with me.  In fact I'm worried I will still be singing Miss Polly Had a Dolly when I am in a rocking chair gazing out the window of my long term care home.

The great part about this little song is that it is perfect for toddlers who are just beginning pretend play.  They seem to love to act it out and want do it over and over again.  Most of them have had a Doctor experience and they know about being sick and needing medicine, so they connect with the words.

One day I was with a little girl who wanted the Doctor song.  So I started to sing and she looked around and found some props that would work for her as she acted out the song.  I loved her imagination and creativity!


Miss Polly had a Dolly who was sick, sick, sick


So she called for the Doctor to come quick, quick, quick

The Doctor came with his bag and his hat 
And he knocked on the door with a rat tat tat


The zipper on his bag was a little tricky.
He looked at the dolly and he shook his head
And he said Miss Polly put her straight to bed


Taking the dolly's temperature.  Yes, it's a felted carrot that she is using for the thermometer.


He wrote on a paper for a pill, pill, pill
I'll be back in the morning with my bill, bill, bill.

After opening the medicine bag she used it for the Doctors hat.
She's giving her dolly some medicine.  Then she tried a different kind of medicine.


Mmmm yum, cupcakes are great medicine!


"My dolly is feeling better now".


Yes, her baby is feeling so much better that she is waiting at the bus stop with her coffee! 

Would you like to hear the tune for this little song?  

Pleas excuse the cartoon......

******************************************
Some say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, I say, spend a little time with a small child.  It does wonders.