Thursday, 14 March 2013

creating another world

while the children were resting/sleeping - this is what I set up... I was curious to see what would happen - next to it were jars and boxes of all sorts of materials...
the first to arrive was one of the toddlers. The main interest was exploring the glass beads - the noises it made when it was in the jar, how it felt with the whole hand submerged in the plastic jar, experimenting with large and small amounts of beads. Then to pouring them onto the floor and swooshing legs as if swimming in the beads - then carefully picking them up and putting them back into the jar to start again
Three more children arrived with huge exclamations of "wow" and did not need any encouragement to start using all the jewels and beads, shells, chestnuts etc etc to continue the creativity on the blue velvet... One child turned the shells into a family - mummy, daddy and two children.
after a while I saw they had finished designing and creating the patterns and introduced fairies as a possible small world play to this new world they had created. The fairies were new to them - and were enthusiastically received by all.

The fairies and cars and duplo all got mixed together to create a richer form of small world play. Here you can see a fairy driving a car. Of the three children in the room there were three different kinds of play happening. One child had a very interactive role-play story with the fairies that stretched across the whole small world area and larger parts of the room.
Another child sorted and re-sorted the materials found on the material. Arranging them by colour - discovering that the shells made an excellent source of transportation.
the third child arranged the fairies - sat and admired them, watched the other's for a short time, then re-arranged the fairies, admired and then re-arranged... it must have been in double digits the number of re-arrangements.
 This variety of play with the same materials got me thinking about the talk about philosophy and that as teachers we need to support the children's ability to see alternative ways of viewing things. So there will be a documentation made of how the children have played so that we can talk together about the different ways of playing and if we can be inspired by what our friends are doing...
Today we set up the blue velvet together - this time the fossils came out, and more beads. It was also noticeable that the children who had participated in yesterdays session had a clear strategy in how to place the beads...

As you see it was not just a case of pouring the beads into areas of the material - this time there was planning and positioning.

 It was also noticeable that the toddlers were much more interested in a sensory experience - of feeling the beads run through their fingers - today this is what the toddlers did too - and were allowed to, although for some of the older children this was difficult to accept - why were there beads all over the floor? But after a while and some explanations they saw the benefits - they too could experiment with the beads... Again - learning to see things from another point of view, and adding this new knowledge to their own... Philosophy without words...

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