The kids were excited about our pond unit, but they are passionate about learning about space! We spent this week focusing on our solar system.
Before we could dig into learning about all the planets we had to finish up one last project from our pond unit. Our dragonflies were half finished so we took our activity time and completed them. During this time we also reviewed what the kids had learned about ponds. We noticed the cattails we had in our classroom had started distributing seeds.
We have switched out our bakery dramatic play area for a new space shuttle area. (And also added a separate baby house/doll nursery area.) We set up cardboard for the sides of the shuttle, the kids worked hard to decorate a black table cloth with stars which we hung up as our new “space” backdrop. It really looks cool. They have been checking the stars using our “telescopes”, calling from mission control on the old fashioned phone and manning the controls of the shuttle! Thank you to Zander for bringing in his astronaut suit for the kids to try on. We have seen lots of creative play happening.
Throughout the week we have been reading many interesting books on the solar system. (Thank you to Ava for bringing in a book to share with the class.) The kids are learning many interesting facts about the sun, planets and asteroids. We are also discussing things they may think are true such as cars driving on Saturn’s rings and why they aren’t possible. Each child created a mini book of the planets.
We celebrated Brookie’s 5th birthday a little early on Wednesday. Happy Birthday to Brookie! We hope she has a very special day while on vacation!
For fun, the kids each posed for astronaut photos. They were able to choose their background. On the bottom of the photos there is an explanation of what the background depicts. Most are taken with NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope.
We enjoyed music with Cantor again this week. The puppets are a big hit with the kids!
We water-colored planets on Thursday. We have been working a lot on emotional self-management and this art project was a great place to practice managing possible disappointment. I created one of each planet, the sun and the asteroid belt. I then drew name sticks to choose who was able to go first choosing their planet. Before we started this process we reviewed the idea of possibly not getting the one they wanted and what it could look like after. We know it’s ok to feel sad or disappointed but they then get to choose what we do with that feeling. The kids have brainstormed options (including laying on the floor crying and kicking) and we discussed why some are better options than others. When I drew names and the choices were dwindling some of the kids felt disappointed but I was very impressed with how well they managed their feelings. Everyone ended up enjoying the painting process and feeling happy with their work.
There were lots of fun changes to our outside area this week . The new turf is fantastic and looks “happier” to me. The kids have loved playing on it, especially with the new equipment we have added to the playground space. There is a new basketball multi-hoop, and balance board and a new dramatic play boat. The kids have been very busy exploring the new things.
We have continued to play Obo-Shin-Oten-Toten – our circle clapping game. This week we counted up to 50 because that is the number of moons Jupiter has (actually 50-67 they think).
This game causes the kids to practice crossing their midline. When children can cross their midline, they are using both sides of their brain to coordinate smooth, controlled, complex movement. It is an important part of their development to combine movement patterns that cross the body for building strong skills involved in areas like reading, writing, and tying shoelaces.
We will continue studying space concepts for a few more weeks. Next week we will hone in on Earth’s moon.
I hope you all have a great weekend with your fun kiddos, I think they are pretty special!