We’ve noticed that Cohort A loves Minecraft! Almost every day, they incorporate Minecraft into their play. Whether they’re building Minecraft characters out of Plus-Plus blocks or acting out scenarios, Minecraft always seems to be an interest that they return to.
Based on these observations, we decided to delve into the world of Minecraft and give Cohort A the opportunity to create their own Minecraft potion!
To represent the potion ingredients, we filled up six jars with coloured water and different scents. Before we opened each jar, the children wanted to guess the scent.
These were some of their comments...
“The orange jar probably smells like orange!”
“This one smells like chocolate!”
“Eww, I don’t like this smell.”
“For sure this one is cinnamon!”
Each child was given a cylindrical bottle as their potion bottle and an eyedropper that they used to add their ingredients. Some of the children chose ingredients based on colour, while others focused on the smell.
As the children were busy creating their potions, I asked them to think about what their potion would do. We had some very creative answers! Some potions made you invisible, while others gave you the ability to breathe fire!
Once their potions were complete, they were given a spray cap for their bottle. This allowed them to spray or squirt their potion onto the ground! One child said, “it’s like perfume!”
This activity was a blast! What a great way to bring Minecraft outdoors!
On Wednesday, Cohort A got the chance to sign up for a fun new club, the Photography Club! Our first activity was a photography scavenger hunt. The kids each chose a partner and got to use a device (either a phone or digital camera) to find and take photos of each of the items on the list. They were all very enthusiastic to find each one.
These two photos are "take a picture of someone else taking a picture" and as you can tell they're already pros, just look at that photographic composition.
One child who is very tech-savvy even started to edit the pictures that he took on his phone, and took a whole bunch of videos as if he were one of his favorite youtubers! Another child was struggling with how to take a picture of someone running and jumping, so we did some experimenting with timing and shutter speeds.
After some trial and error we figured out how to time the shutter just right to capture these photos!
Each group successfully completed the scavenger hunt and had a great time doing so. Two of the kids even continued taking photos of whatever sparked their interest after they were done. One child said to me "I hope my phone doesn't die in the cold, I want to be photographer for the rest of the day!" Being a photographer myself, that made me very happy to hear. I'm excited to see what their creative minds will bring to the table next week!
Cohort A has continued to show an interest in designing their own shelters. We decided that while creating shelter is important, it is also important to be able to share the space with a friend. The educators came together and offered the children an experience to learn a new life skill, we learned how to sew! The idea behind this activity was for the children to sew a survival buddy that could hangout with them in their shelter.
Since sewing is a new idea for many of the children, we noticed that some were a little hesitant to try at first, but with the encouragement from the educators, the children dove in. Soon the survival buddies were coming to life!
It was clear that the children enjoyed being able to make something that they had pictured in their head, from start to finish so we decided to make sewing a weekly event. Cohort A became sewing machines! Every Thursday, both morning and afternoon, the children got together to decide what they wanted to make and put the plan in action. They made pillows, gym bags, wallets, money pouches, survival bags for their buddies, and even created details, such as faces by sewing on buttons and felt on to the fabric.
I'm looking forward to future creations!
One chilly afternoon, a child from Cohort A noticed a shovel laying in the snow and lightly stepped on the shovel side resulting in the soft fluffy snow to slip right off. The child began to manipulate the shovel to find how they could make the snow fly up off the shovel into the air. The educator noticed that this child wanted to take it to the next level, so they offered help in trying again! By moving the shovel around and testing out different places step, along with different amounts of pressure, the child realized that if they stepped on shovel end with some force that the snow would catapult up into the air! Unfortunately soon after, the child had to go home but the fun didn't stop there.
The next day the child continued to explore how to use the shovel as a catapult! The child grabbed a shovel and covered it with small snow blocks. They needed a bit of direction on where to place the blocks, but with some help they placed 2 bigger blocks of snow under the shovel handle about a quarter way down to force the shovel to incline. Next, they covered the shovel scoop end with smaller snow blocks and once the child had the catapult ready to go, they stepped on the shovel handle and watched the snow fly up high! The child was quite excited by what they saw!
By the third day, the child had it pretty down pat and was telling the educator exactly what they needed help with in order for the catapult to work. The child expressed that they would need about 10 blocks for the scoop side and a couple more for underneath the shovel handle and asked the educator for some help gathering the snow blocks. At one point, the child placed snow blocks on both sides of the shovel and covered the handle. The child said, “Look! It’s a see-saw.”
Through this experience, we decided to bring life to catapults indoors and let the children try and build their own. A table was set up with big popsicle sticks, smaller popsicle sticks, paper cups, rubber bands and glue. This brought all of the children in cohort A together and they were able to practice their problem solving skills as they manipulated the materials into their own catapult designs! Of course once the catapults were complete we needed to test them out. The children quickly learned the power of gravity as they experimented with different items on the lower end of the catapult. We used different materials such as rubber bands, marbles, buttons and dominos to try figure out which ones would be able to make it the furthest!
As the week went on, the children came back to Dawn and Dusk with stories about how they were able to use their catapults at home. We may have a few future designers in Cohort A, as one child explained that they used their catapult to dispense dog treats for their dog to catch in the air!