“Everything children do has meaning to them.”
Makovichuk, L. (Play, participation, and possibilities: An early learning and care curriculum framework for Alberta. Retrieved from page 52.
When you reflect on your child’s day to day life, try to begin looking at every action, reaction and vocalization that happens. Everything your child is doing, has meaning to them – they are trying to understand the world around them. How do different objects function and feel? How do they communicate with different people, and how do they portray their own emotions? As we continue this journey with building and stacking, we have uncovered a new aspect that has captured the children’s attention.
Eleanor and Kane are sitting in the block corner, stacking blocks up. “Uh oh”, Kane says in shock as he hits his and Eleanor’s tower over. They both watch it fall to the ground and begin the whole process over. Ivy begins to stack three corks on the shelf top. Very carefully she places the corks one by one, showing excitement for every cork she successfully places. Once she has all three stacked, she pushes them over, immediately filling the room with laughter. Ellis and Thea are quietly on Ellis’ bed, preparing for nap. Beside them is the block shelf. Ellis grabs blocks, one by one and lines them up along the edge of the shelf. Once he has the chosen amount lined up, with one swift arm movement, Thea tumbles them all to the ground and they quietly smile and continue on.
As we’ve observed over the past few weeks, we’ve noticed that the children have really developed their stacking and building skills, and are discovering a new aspect to building and stacking – falling.
Though falling is definitely not a new discovery for our Shale friends, it seems to be making a prevalent entrance into their learning. To help them discover new facets to falling, we have began to explore more sensory possibilities. Sensory is ALWAYS an extremely popular experience with the children in Shale so this is a wonderful opportunity to expand their concept of falling. Scooping water into a container and pouring it out, piling sand into a shelf top and sweeping it off, and holding ooblick* in their hands and watching it fall off slowly. These are all direct example of how we have explored falling in this past week.
Last week we also discussed how, through building and stacking, it has seemed to enhance and highlight some of the communicative practices amongst our group. This week is no different. New emotionally driven and descriptive words and cues are becoming more present in our room. When we are retelling the tale of the Pout Pout Fish in the Big Big Dark, or Llama Llama Red Pajama they all gasp at the same times, laugh at the same times and are captivated by suspense filled gazes. When touching ooblick for the first time and showing a shocked confused look on their face, or feeling ice slip out of their hands with a look of “oops!” – we are continuing to see relationships and connections being built as we explore. Eleanor was showing Kane trust during their experience of building and stacking by letting him knock their tower over. Ellis and Thea were displaying an understanding of each other, they are both discovering new things together. Though they aren’t saying full words or sentences by any means, you can notice these bonds being built by the actions each child chooses.
Everything they do, matters to them.
Can you notice your child making decisions in the pursuit of discovery at home? Can you see and hear how they are sharing their discoveries with you?
Have a wonderful weekend!
Sarah, Michelle, Cassi and Young
Ooblick – Equal parts water and cornstarch.