Friday, February 19, 2010

tot school: jar-closing and rice-excavating

The first part of today's activities was completely accidental, when Basbusa grabbed some of the materials I was unpacking for the Rice Excavating, and went off on explorations of her own. So here, I present the highly technical Bits-Of-Straw-In-A-Little-Jar lesson:

The jar is from one of those teeny weeny miniature jams you get with room-service in hotels. It turned out to be the perfect size for her little hands, because it was small enough for her to grasp firmly and not too heavy for her to manipulate easily. She spent about ten minutes putting the five bits of cut-up straw into the jar, angling the lid so that it squashed down the tallest bits (which were too tall for the jar, really), and then twisting it closed. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. She was so fascinated that I'm sure she must have been learning something, even if I can't quite put my finger on what it was!

Then we moved on to the "real" part of the session. Remember the hunt-for-coins-in-rice activity I posted about before? This was a repeat of that activity, with a few new twists.

We were still aiming to find the four coins and put them on their spots on the index card. But rather than just poking around with her finger, Basbusa first fished out all the pom-poms and put them into the empty cream-cheese container, and then used the mini-jam-jar to scoop out some rice on top of them. She found it absolutely fascinating to watch how the pom-poms gradually disappeared under each new scoop of rice, and it gave us plenty of chances to talk about colors, saying things like, "oooh, look, the green one disappeared! Now we can only see the blue one and the yellow one!"

Once the rice-level had fallen sufficiently, she could pick out the coins more easily and put them on their card.

It was also fun to put various things into the little jar - one coin, two coins, two coins and some rice, one coin and a pom-pom, etc - and jiggle it next to our ears, to hear what kind of sound it made. It was so funny to watch her try to figure out how to coordinate her movement to get the coins to jingle beside her own ear! At first she could jingle it, but miles away from her ear. Or get it up by her ear, but not be able to coordinate the jingle without spilling everything. But she got the hang of it eventually!

Basbusa loved this whole activity, and it kept her engaged for about twenty minutes.

1 comment:

  1. Love these ideas!!! I'm going to try the rice one with my son. Thank you!