Monday, May 4, 2015

A Box and Tube Toy

One of my goals this year was to improve on the activities I have available for toddlers.  Another goal was to continue to create toys from inexpensive materials that families could replicate at home if they wished.
With that in mind and noticing that the children are still very interested in the plastic Easter eggs that we have playing with for the past month I created this toy.
Using one more apple box, I flipped it upside down and inserted tubes from side to side.
                                 They love it!
At first they were busy opening the eggs – so I hot glued them shut (because they won't roll through when they are open).
Then they noticed the tubes and started dropping the eggs in.
It didn’t take the older children long to realize the eggs were coming out the other end.  The younger children spent time looking into the tube to see the egg.  Was it inside?  Where did it go?
One time there was a large group of children around the table playing.  I noticed a younger child watching  them and then peek in the tube again, still not quite figuring it out.
Other times we moved the box to the floor so the smallest children could access it easily.
We added baskets to catch the eggs, sometimes they would bounce out and send us scurrying after them.  That added another dimension to this play.
Even though my intention, when creating this toy, was for the toddlers I’m constantly reminded that children at any age are still exploring, experimenting and revisiting their environment. 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Button Flowers

We have a great selection of buttons in our art area.
Sorted by colour in separate containers.
Today I placed them on the table with green coloured pencils, crayons, markers
                                             and glue.
            The materials were used to create button flower gardens.
             IMG_5347 (2)
        Each child had a vision of what their gardens would look like.
         The older children created flowers that were realistic.
The younger children showed more abstract flowers, not yet drawing stems
and leaves.  And I notice more movement with their flowers.
            I feel the wind blowing the flowers in this art piece.
           Just like dandelion fluff being blown off the main stem.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Another Egg Toy

An interesting toy that has the children looking at it from many angles.
I’ve had this toy for several years (another thrift store find that even my husband liked playing with).  I bring it out a couple of times a year and it challenges the children to move the eggs from one level to the next by turning dials, rotating and pulling levers.
The children are so intense when they are playing it reminds me of the facial expressions I see when someone is playing a video game.
It’s a challenge that they want to achieve.  Learning how to move those eggs takes patience and dexterity.  For those that are first using the toy they spin or move the levers too quickly and it won’t move the eggs so they learn to slow their movements to be successful.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Buddy Activity–What’s Inside the Egg?

Our buddies planned an egg activity for us to do today.  They had precut cracked eggs and used brad fasteners so they would open and shut.
When the buddies got together we started with sharing the eggs from our toy incubator.  I presented each egg as a riddle and they had to guess what was inside.  Next they had to think of what they would draw inside their egg.
They spent a few minutes planning what creature they would draw.
Next they drew their picture, talking about it and beginning to think of questions that would give hints to what is inside their egg.
Also during that time they continued to build their relationships.  Helping each other, sharing ideas, working together and showing new tools (the last picture shows the big buddy using a pencil sharpener).
         Once their picture was done they considered their clues. 
What questions would they write so people can guess what is inside?
           Once they were done they walked around and shared them. 
        Could other buddy pairs figure out what was inside the egg?