It is already November! The leaves are now gone, the air is chilly and crisp and winter is coming. And while there isn't any snow yet, it is time to start saying goodbye to fall.
The children spent their first couple of months learning about change. Watching the leaves change, dance and fall. We had the chance to have a nature class, in which we met at the park and had class in Edmontons River Valley. If I could teach there all of the time we would. The children and families love it, and it is a beautiful space.
We began our nature class by wandering the park looking for fall items...
Children collected items which matched coloured indicators. I upcycled an egg carton to create a crate to hold various items in orange, green, yellow, red, brown and purple.
We took our found materials and matched them to the pages on our "Fall colour book".
After we went to one of my favorite local play spaces- a natural play area.
There are no swings, no bars and no slides in this park. Often children seem confused at first, but once offered the time and space to engage with the materials they would jump from the balance beams, run through the tracks, explore the sand and use their imagination. I do not bring any materials for the children to use, no bikes or sand toys. Often children will collect found natural materials; sticks, pine cones and leaves to create a game or activity.
In the classroom we brought in items from Harvest including apples and pumpkins.
We made apple sauce with basic math and science skills. The children enjoyed our home made recipe which included no added sugar.
Pumpkins began to cover our room as Halloween drew closer...
We even found some goopy gross gack in our room which the children LOVED to cut up.
We enjoyed pouring, mixing, playing in our Halloween sensory tub. This will help with writing skills down the line, as the children exercised their fine motor skills pressing together the tweezers, using aim and point and lifting and pouring beans.
Sensory bins are also relaxing, help foster story telling, social skills, math, science and much more.
The children decided they wanted to colour a pumpkin in the classroom.
We also carved a face into one.
In circle we read many stories, played various games and even told stories with masks. I also use the masks to work on sound skills (repeat after me, public speaking and pronunciation of items such as Boo, Hehehe, or Whoo)
It also fosters dramatic play, follow directions and turn taking.
One of my favorite moments spent at the playschool is when we adventure to the neighbouring seniors complexes' and spend time with them. We dressed in our costumes and wandered over to sing songs, tell stories and do crafts.
Multi generational experiences is key for fostering community. It teaches children to work with all neighbours no matter what age or what interest someone has. The seniors tells us stories, ask us questions and genuinely have interest in the children's wants and needs. Spending time at the seniors builds empathy for our children, learning what other people need and how to spend time with various friends.