How fun to be able to use a hammer! Bluebirds drove little spikes into pumpkins with the aid of safety goggles. This is a great way to learn hand dexterity for fine motor skills and balance.
Nails not only went in, but they were also pulled out.
Bluebirds walk to gymnastics with our “friendship rope”. Children group together by twos and not only share conversation, but companionship as well, as we walk down the trail to Naydenov Gymnastics.
After much waiting and practicing, the Bluebirds made it to Bizi’s Pumpkin Patch on a misty fall day. We boarded a school bus and took a 20 minute drive to the pumpkin patch. We started off with a hay maze and then visited the friendly animals at the petting area….
Bluebirds washed their hands, climbed the hay pyramids, loaded onto the wagons and headed for the pumpkin fields. Chaperones guided the children through the pumpkin patch and helped them pick a pumpkin that they could carry all by themselves.
For the last few weeks, the Robins have been counting down the days until our field trip to BiZi Farms. All the excitement led our class to start a long term investigation of pumpkins and our day at the pumpkin patch was the perfect opportunity for the Robins to see some of the things we’ve been learning (the pumpkin life cycle, decomposition, life on a farm, etc.) in a real life setting.
The Hay Maze
Greetings and thank you for checking out our KIDSPACE blog! We really feel that this blog grants us a unique opportunity to share with you the abundant and joyful learning that is going on each day in the Robins’ class.
How Do Young Children Learn To Write?
Like most of a young child’s development, learning to write happens in stages. As children begin to explore writing, they are demonstrating a desire to communicate and an awareness that written words convey meaning. The image below illustrates how young children’s writing evolves over time. Writing begins as scribbles before letter like shapes can be recognized. Eventually, children include more and more letters of the alphabet and as they start to make connections between letters and sounds they begin to invent their own spelling.
“A” is for apple. . .
….three different colors.
|We charted our favorite apple variety.
What was the favorite apple color? All three colors!
As we did our charting, we practiced sorting and counting skills.
There’s a lot of “bucket filling” in the Robins class at KIDSPACE Child Enrichment Center. What is “bucket filling” you ask? Bucket filling runs on the pretense that everyone has an invisible bucket. We feel good when our bucket is full and not so good when our bucket is empty. There have been a number of books written on this topic for adults and children. Our favorites at KIDSPACE for the preschool crowd are:
We fill other people’s buckets by using kind, considerate words and doing acts of kindness. However, the children are also realizing that when they fill other’s buckets it also fills their own buckets. They are understanding what it feels like to have a full bucket and what it feels like to have an empty bucket. Even as adults, we sometimes don’t understand why we feel the way that we do. The “bucket filling” concept makes sense at any age. We all need to pause and take a look at our buckets when we’re feeling down. If our bucket is on the empty side we need to find a way to fill it back up. We can fill our own buckets by filling other’s buckets or we can ask others to help us fill up our buckets.
The students write notes and draw pictures for their classmates as a way to fill buckets.
Sometimes a bucket can be emptied quickly by “bucket dippers.” “Bucket dipping” is the act of emptying buckets. We can dip into our own bucket by being unkind with others or someone else can dip from our buckets with thoughtless and/or unkind actions toward us.
When children can label their actions toward others as “bucket filling” or “bucket dipping” it helps them to see more clearly how their actions directly affect others and themselves.
As parents and educators it is our responsibility to fill and continue to fill our children’s buckets to the brim. When children have full buckets they manage themselves far better than those children who operate with buckets that are on the empty side. Full buckets also give children a strong desire to learn, confidence to make good decisions, be thoughtful friends and enjoy community with others.
Bucket filling is NOT empty praise. Bucket filling is sincere, honest and addresses the actions and character of the child (or adult).
Bucket Filling: “You spent a lot of time cleaning your room today. You showed me you are a hard worker and you like your Legos organized. What part of your room will you work on next?”
Empty Praise: “You are such a good boy/girl.”
Bucket Dipping: “You worked all this time in your room and all you did was clean up your legos?”
Bucket filling is a simple concept, yet it makes big, positive differences in the lives of those we touch and those we love.
Well over thirty years ago when I was in college taking my teacher ed art classes the “new” mantra was “it’s the PROCESS not the PRODUCT.” It was a big deal then and thankfully, it still is today. What does it mean to children? When we, as early childhood professionals, live by the rule that “the doing” is more important than “the done” it conveys to our young students that we believe they’re capable of creating their own art. True creative art experiences for children allows them to experiment, create and build. They are encouraged to think, make their own decisions and express themselves through a creative outlet.