Because Thanksgiving will be celebrated very soon, we have been reading books about families and food. One of the books is Feast for 10. It is a wonderful book about an African American family who shops for a Thanksgiving dinner. While reading, we count the number of healthy foods that are purchased throughout the story; we talk about how the family members all help. This book is wonderful because it is about math, multiculturalism, family, unity and food.
Children are naturally the most forgiving at this stage in their lives. They live in the present moment and move on after being very upset. As adults, we can really learn from this way of thinking. Thanksgiving reminds me that being thankful and grateful is very important in our daily lives. Although the children say, “thank you” and “please” in everyday conversations our intention is to teach the children to be part of a community, to be kind to each other and to express their needs and wants appropriately.
Children are very interested in the world around them. They like to collect all kinds of things when they are outside. They learn best in a multisensory environment. They understand concepts better when they can see, touch, taste, hear and smell. We have noticed the squirrels burying their food for the upcoming winter. The children have been collecting leaves and playing with them. They go crunch, crunch when they are stepped on. We are using the leaves to discuss small, medium and large. Christabel has been working with the children to create wonderful collages using leaves that were collected by the children.
Fine Motor Development
The children poured sand in a balloon and they were very interested in the sound that the sand made as they shook the balloon.
They also put water in the balloon and walked around very carefully so they would not drop it. We were teaching the children how to be very careful and gentle.
The children also put paint in the balloons and squeezed the paint through small holes.
Compromise and Negotiation
We used the balloon to make a paper mache ball. The children made the glue by mixing by mixing flour, salt and water. They used their fine motor skills to tear the paper, then they used a paint brush to apply the glue on the balloon. It was time to paint the ball but some wanted blue and others wanted red. We discussed some options and the children decided to paint the ball half red and half blue.
These projects help with controlling small muscles in hands, coordinating eye-hand movement which will develop fine motor skills for future writing.
Popular Songs: This Old Man, Old McDonald, All the Leaves are Falling Down.
Themes: leaves, Thanksgiving, turkeys, farm life, farm animals
Books: The Gingerbread Boy, The Three Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf are the children’s favorite stories at this time.
Thanksgiving holidays: Half a day 12:30 next Wednesday, November 23.
Closed 24, 25.
Danyce Alonzo, Educational Director for East Village Tots