Over the weekend the schools owner and her family dug out our huge natural sand pit and we had the sand delivered this week. The kids worked hard helping to load the sand into the wheelbarrow and into their little buckets and towing them back and forth. When they saw the entire thing completed they screamed in excitement and dove in. They are enjoying the space this large natural pit is giving them and all of the neat things they are making. We were really glad that we were able to get them involved in filling the pit as it gives them a sense of ownership and it shows. We are covering it up when not in use with a tarp to keep out the cats and critters.
Playing with play dough is always a favorite for sensory activities. Earlier in the week we made some homemade dough with the children from common household ingredients. Using recycled items, like columns from old trophies, and natural items the children made all sorts of creations like cookies, rockets, and houses. We also used some of the natural elements and made prints in the play dough to see what it would look like.
One of the joys of watching the kids play with same materials everyday in the loose parts area is watching their "light-bulb moments". Seeing their faces and hearing their "Oh my gosh, did you see what I just made?" statements is awesome to witness daily. It is amazing that after several months of having the same materials, they still manage to come up with new ideas on how to use the tires, boards, and blocks. The bridge they created weeks ago is still in place and they run to this loose parts area first everyday to walk it and see what else they can do. Above, you can see one of the students has elevated there bridge and has made it level to create a sturdier bridge to cross.
The last week of 2018 and first week of 2019, with all of its missed days from school due to the holidays, still proved to be very fruitful with discoveries and new creations. Since the school was closed for several days and children were in and out with family traditions and illnesses, we spread out our nature and edible food topic over those two weeks. As we had been seeing a lot of lady bugs lately and one of the students had requested that we choose them as the next nature topic to learn about, we decided to learn a thing or two about them.