Thursday, January 7, 2010

January Learning Room Curriculum

The forest has come to the learning room! I am basing the curriculum loosely on a forest animal theme. At this point we still include several different items that are of high interest to Q, as these allow her to develop through her interests. However, we have our winter tree decorated with winter animals, so that is our theme! The display shelf holds two small ceramic bear salt and pepper shakers. We practice "gentle touches" and I allow Q to hold the bears sitting down on the carpet. We locate their body parts.
I found this phone when cleaning out a closet and Q loves playing with it. She has learned (thanks to Oma!) how to make pretend phone calls and she loves for us to talk on the phone. Through my research into play in grad school I have become a firm believer in trying always to either use real objects or allow children to pretend a generic object is something else (ie: pretend a block is a phone). For toddlers, they are typically unable to engage in higher-level pretend play, so they do best with real objects.
This is a scissor holder that wasn't being used to hold scissors. I found some twister bolts(bolt with washer and nut) in Matt's garage that would't fall through the holes but could be put in and out. This activity requires pretty extensive pincer grasp (between thumb and first finger) or the child to push up on the bolt from the bottom and then grasp the top with the other hand. Both excellent fine motor skills that will prepare children for cutting, painting, writing, etc. (older kids love twisting the nut off, taking the washer off, and then putting it back together again....put this out for tablework in a little tray!!)