I came a cross a great idea using found materials. You can collect and gather a variety of recycled objects from around your home or ask your students to bring in materials, but I just focused on collecting lids. I have collected various sizes, colours, and shapes. From the dollar store I purchased a large, shallow tray to gather all the objects and some circular cork boards for children to arrange their materials on. Choose a space in your room to house the materials or display them on a table–tray in the middle and cork boards around to create an inviting space. Allow children to create designs based on colour, shapes or other attributes and see where the discussion may go….
Picture to follow shortly….
This is a monograph about getting started with inquiry. There is a list on the last page that gives 6 tips on how to get started with inquiry http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/CBS_StudentInquiry.pdf
This great line….
A simple change in your classroom to make winter feel like it is inside, is to change what is in your sensory table. Instead of sand or water, try adding cottonballs, fake snow and white yarn. We even put some silver sparkles in our table. If you want to make it feel like the holidays, you can purchase plastic ornaments, and reindeer from the dollar store and add them too! After the Winter Break, take the holiday items out, and the children can still enjoy the feeling of a “snow” sensory table.
Our students have really enjoyed this activity this past week!
Now that the snow has finally come, this is a great time to hunt for “jewels” in the playground. To begin you need several ice cube trays and fill with water and add a drop of food colouring of your choice into the water. Allow to freeze overnight. The next day before heading outside for playtime, fill up plastic baggies and take them with you. Spread them out in designated areas or you can hide them and use them for math questions…..can you find 10?, Can you sort these by colour and count? etc.
We called them jewels to make it exciting!
Finally, we got some snow outside. Last night, we received tons of snow. So today, we thought the snow should come inside!
We took the cotton out of our sensory table to empty it. We then filled the sensory table 3/4 of the way full with real snow. We gave the children mittens to play in it. Then, half way through the day when the snow had melted a little, we added paintbrushes and gave the children the opportunity to paint the snow. The mittens were filthy with various paint colours by the end of the day, but the kids had so much fun that it was worth bringing the mittens home to wash!
To change from the sand in our sensory table and to add something new, today we had “snow” in our kindergarten room.
We filled a large tub with cottonballs. I sprinkled a little bit of silver glitter on the cottonballs to make it sparkle like snow. We added small mittens, pine needles, pine cones and small shovels.
You could also use rice, shredded paper, shaving cream, flour, instant snow, fake snow from a dollar store, or instant mashed potatoe mix. Or, you could use each of these on different days to keep the children’s interest.
It is a very simple and easy activity that the children loved. It also brought some of the students’ interest back to sensory who usually do not play in sand or water.
Now that Winter Break is over, the children are getting back into the routine of our Kindergarten day. One of our students’ favourite activities is our sand table.
Before the break, we had items that are used for baking in the sand. Now that the holidays are over, we have changed the sand table toys in winter items. We put items the children can use if they pretended the sand was snow. We put in shovels, and toy pick-up trucks to plow, and to drive in the “snow”. I also added an ice cream scooper so they can pretend they are making snowballs.
The children enjoyed the new items in the sand table. I enjoyed watching them and listening to them using their imaginations.
Discussing the holiday season can be tricky in most schools. Trying to be all inclusive is not easy. For some, it is easier to avoid all of the holidays that occur this time of year. Instead of trying to include all holidays, you can use winter items, or items that are non-holiday specific.
In Kindergarten, sensory activities are important. In our sand table, we found baking items for the children to use. We put in snowmen cookie cutters, small measuring cups and spoons, and a rolling pin. Instead of holiday items, we are going to focus on baking as several families enjoy baking at this time of the year, regardless of which holiday they choose to celebrate.