We are warming up this winter season inside the Grasshopper room by diving into an in depth study of tropical islands and beaches. Our exploration of this boundless topic started with a brainstorm of ideas of how to get on an island. Many creative thoughts were discussed, including riding on a dolphin! The kids had a blast with water in the water table, sea creatures, cups, funnels and even water pumps. Our "nautical engineers" also designed their own block boats, hammering and gluing to build their creations. Will they be seaworthy? We'll test them out to see!
We switched gears a bit by shifting to a very sandy environment in our room. A giant indoor sandbox (aka the beach) has been a wonderful area of discovery and creativity. One day gems and gold coins were found in the sand. Was there a pirate in our room? The next day shells and other beachy things. Can you hear the ocean? It is so fun to hear the banter back and forth between the kids - their imaginations getting carried away! There was even a cooperative effort to build a volcano in the sand. We learned that many islands are formed this way.
The children used sand for a number of artistic creations. Sand splat painting was so much fun. The splat effect was made with sand filled bandanas dipped in paint. The best part was standing on a chair and dropping the bundle for the huge splat. These paintings turned out brilliantly dramatic! Making sand art pictures with glue and different colors of sand was a very enjoyable project for the kids. There was an array of abstract multi-colored pictures, name writing, and representational art. We also made beach pictures using an assortment of processes to complete. These included water color painting, glue, sand, and cut paper pictures all layered for an amazing final result. The kids were so proud of their masterpieces!
One of the many stories read was, "Milo and the Mysterious Island". This was a particular favorite of the students, as we were given the option to read a happy ending or a sad ending. Not surprisingly, almost all of the students wanted to hear the happy ending. However, we stopped before the end of the story to draw predictions of how the story would end. Many creative ideas were shared and discussed in our circle time before we continued on to read the end of the story.
We will carry on the island study by submerging into the underwater world. Coral reefs, fish, crustaceans, shells... There are limitless areas for us to investigate. We will keep you posted on our discoveries and adventures!