What began as a spontaneous, "whoops, what was I thinking" kind of a moment turned into a plethora of discoveries loaded with learning. It's also brought back grand memories of firing corn across the lunch room back in the 80's!! (yep...color me guilty of participating in food fights...however, in my defense...I shot CORN, people, not mashed potatoes!!)
SIDE NOTE: we were originally simply balancing conversation hearts on spoons. We were just seeing how many conversation hearts we could keep on a spoon while walking, standing on one leg, closing our eyes, holding the spoon with our lips etc. LOADS of brain and muscle work going on. Then, what evolved came from a moment of "hmmm...what should we do now...".
SPOON CATAPULTING TAKE 1
Spoons and conversation hearts. Admittedly, catapulting conversation hearts with plastic spoons was not one of the brighter spur of the moment ideas to come out of my brain. From the first "clink" I thought..."oh dear, what have I done?" The fun was catagious though...and so, I let the fun that I started continue. ***Please note: one learns quite quickly the correct way to hold a spoon when launching hard conversation hearts...you take one of those in the noggin' from close range, and...well....you aren't going to do that again! :)
|Catapulting conversation hearts = not my brightest spur of the moment idea! (whoops)|
Fast forward to the next day.
SPOON CATAPULTING TAKE 2:
All I did was toss a handful of plastic spoons and a bunch of foam shapes on the floor. The kids did the rest!
|I literally just plopped the spoons and foam shapes, then stepped back to|
see what would happen
|On the floor is Erik...he has the spoon pointed away from him, but he |
has not grasped the idea of aiming yet. Molly on the other hand, is about to plunk herself in
the head. Soft, foam shapes makes it a painless surprise!
|Look at Ty's eyes. He has his sight on his target, not on the shapes, or spoon in his hand.|
Ty is 5, and understands "aiming".
What I quickly noticed was all the learning going on while the kids catapulted the shapes.
1) Small motor skills: one just cannot work those fine motor muscles too much!
2) Math: counting backwards from 5 to "FIRE!"
3) Eye-hand coordination as they added a basket to aim at
4) Visual tracking: interestingly I noticed the older ones had a target in mind, their eyes were on the target (notice Ty's eyes in the photo above). My two's and some threes had no idea where the shape was going to go, and after they fired it, there was a delay from their eyes shifting from the focus on the spoon, to where the shape might have gone. There was no connection yet on the relationship of the placement of the spoon and the location of the launched object.
|Notice Jack's eyes. They are looking at the shape on the spoon..he has no plan of where it|
might go. He is focused on what is in his hands without a
thought of where it may go.
|Notice his eyes again....looking in the opposite direction that the blue square flew.|
He has not yet connected the position of the spoon to the direction
the shape will fly. Jack is one month shy of 3.
|Molly decided to gather the shapes into a container. Molly is 2.|
She is practicing eye-hand coordination and grasping skills.
|His plan has emerged...dumping the shapes from a larger container into|
a smaller one takes a lot of focus and coordination.
|Collaborating with Molly to fill yet another conatiner with the shapes.|
Being able to work together as a team to accomplish a goal is
a valuable skill.
|Eventually, all the shapes were dumped into one big pile and Cole|
joined the fun bringing along the sorting trays he
had been using as a cymbal. (my ears were grateful for
this collaboratvie effort!!)
IMPORTANT NOTICE: do not attempt catapulting conversation hearts at home.....the stunt children in the photos were protected with good quality toilet paper.