Room 5 has been acquainting itself with the season of autumn through sensory integrations in our classroom learning centers. We have pumpkin spice mixed in with our sensory bin, autumn jewels alongside our playdough, and today we did “No-Mess Fingerpainting” on paper leaves to decorate our classroom!
Some friends decided to imprint their playdough with the autumn jewels while others saw an opportunity to build a landscape of “trees” by sorting out and only using the leaf jewels to stick up straight in their playdough! When children take place in activities that build on their fine motor skills (like making prints in playdough) they are learning about basic concepts of physics like force, quantity conservation and other other components of cause and effect. They are also engaging in language development as we discuss and describe what happens to the playdough and gems while they work. For example, “The jewel sinks into the playdough when you push it down” is an observation we made which inspired a conversation about homonyms! Some words sound and are spelled exactly the same but can have very different meanings… which is a lot for a hard-working brain of only two years to make sense of! By talking through these fun quirks of language with their teachers, and a first-hand example, these abstract concepts are made much more concrete to our young friends!
Our mess-free fingerpainting activity had many scientific and sensory learning points as well! Our young friends were amazed as they ran their fingers all over the paint on their leaf and found absolutely none of it transferred to their hands! We covered the paint with a clear plastic bag and they got to smush and swirl it all around to their hearts content without getting any on their bodies- what a trip! We talked about the qualities of different materials and why their hands were not messy as they painted. Perhaps the best part for them was the unveiling of their beautiful work of art at the end as they peeled away the plastic from their leaf to reveal a vibrant mix of autumn colors.
Room 5 is learning so much every day in so many ways and we are exceptionally grateful to the loving and amazing families who bless us with their children each day. Room 5 parents contribute so much to our classroom to enrich their experience (and help their teachers out!) that we can’t help but gush at the awesome blessings we have before us. May peace be with you all as we enter this season of thankfulness and praise.