When the Pine Tree kids roll in every morning most of them have already had breakfast, but their minds are hungry for something interesting, creative, or curious to take in before a full day of learning at school.
Here's a peek at some of the ways the Educators help feed those foggy morning minds;
First, a popular game called Apples to Apples. A green card is drawn and placed in the center of the players, then each player picks one of the red cards in their hand that best describes the green card.
This is an excellent game of comparison and can get quite silly - but it also challenges the players to carefully consider their choices and assess which red apple card is actually going to win them the green card. The player with the most green apple cards wins the game!
Another provocation was recently set up after someone suggested we bring the Hot Wheels cars outside to race down the slide.
Since it was rainy the next morning, we set up a little something indoors, keeping with the theme of tragectory.
Just a few simple items were offered in an effort to spark a little inspiration, and was a big success.
A basket of cars, a basket of small wooden planks, a small table, and cardboard tubes.
The children were immedietly drawn in, making crash walls, bridges and ramps. They explored which way to position the tube for the little cars to get the best velocity, and which cars made it the furthest after crashing through a wall.
Another way we challenged their before-school brains was with this difficult skill puzzle.
The object is to successfully hang and balance every single metal rod provided off of a main standing rod & platform.
We quickly learned that this particular puzzle required a lot of patience and planning, as well as a steady hand. Most of us gave up after failing time and time again, but one Pine Tree was determined to conquer it - and she did!
It took almost the entire morning to accomplish, but her perseverance and critical thinking made this frustrating challenge a really big success! Check out this quick clip of the finished product to see just how complicated this really was:
These three examples of morning play demonstrate the little ways we help the children mentally prepare for the day ahead. Playing a card game to learn decision making skills. Playing with cars and ramps to learn the science behind speed and angles. And lastly, playing with puzzles to learn patience and problem solving skills. Each of these activities encouraged critical thinking, hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, patience, and cooperation. We love a good mental warm-up to prepare for the day ahead!
Thanks for stopping by!