Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Farm Work

Here are two more items on our work shelf right now.
The blocks make an animal noise when you put the matches together.  Beck has a hard time getting them lined up right (and really isn't that interested in working with it by himself) but loves for me to demonstrate it for him.

The milk jug has wooden blocks inside.  Beck can open the lid, dump the blocks, and then put them in again.  The same thing could be made with a regular milk bottle or carton. This one is vintage--it was ours when we were kids!

Now you are looking at this thinking "What good is this post?  I don't have either of those toys and I am not doing a farm unit."  What I am really hoping to encourage is the mindset to always be purposeful in the toys/work you provide for your children.  Try not to just set out toys because you have them.  Be sure they are selected because they are supporting a current developmental milestone OR that they fit with the overall theme or focus of the work area....and in an amout that the child can play with and clean up with only a little assistance.  I also want to encourage you to think creatively, outside the box, with the items you have--think about how items can be repurposed or just a few pieces used for a different purpose.

Providing toys/items in the context of a theme or area of focus (ie: farm, fall, cooking, animals, transportation, etc.) helps teach children to build inter-related schemas in their minds--ie: fall things include pumpkins, leaves, scarecrows, colors of gold, red, orange, squash, etc.  They learn that these items fit together--which is a huge science and vocabulary/comprehension skill. 

And I'm off my soapbox now.  :)
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