Thursday, May 31, 2012

Simple Things

Teaching young children does not have to be a big fancy production.  There are amazing discoveries to be made with the simple things.

Mystery word: 
string  (What's a mystery word?  Click to learn more)

What evolved from the mystery word? 
After stringing beads on pipe cleaners and stringing metal balls together with magnet wands and sticks (that led to some amazing discoveries...blogpost coming soon), then strumming the strings of my guitar, into my mind popped a beautiful image of strings of bubbles. 

When we were finished singing our hearts out with the strings of my guitar, I quickly prepared the next "plop" (a plop is simply placing something new into the environment while being able to set aside adult ideas in order to follow the lead of children.  Sometimes the plop leads right to my "plan", but more likely then not, it leads to something that my fenced-in adult mind would have never dreamed of!)

I plopped:
  •  bubbles (the sticky kind, great for indoor play...Gymbore Bubble Oodles are my favorite
  • roughly 1ft pieces of string (yarn)
In my mind, the goal was to make a string of bubbles. I never told the children the task however.  I wanted them to own this discovery and figure it out all on their own.  All I did was lay the pieces of string on the ground and started blowing bubbles. It didn't take long before someone exclaimed "NITA! LOOK! I made a string of bubbles!!"

Visual planning, visual tracking, proprioception (knowing where our parts are in relation to other things and people...I've always referred to this as spatial awareness), cooperation, self control, muscle control and words, words, words are just a few of the benefits of bubble play.

Learning does not have to come in a fancy package.  Most of the time it is found in simple things, like string and bubbles.  You know what I'm going to say next.....PLAY COUNTS!!

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