One of the reasons why I LOVE working with pre-school kiddos is that there is such an amazing blend of learning that can come from both structured and unstructured exploration and growing. With this 3-year old stage, it is so fun to watch the kiddos progress as the year unfolds. They grow, gain confidence and enhance their abilities to follow more and more advanced multi-step directions (a great skill for both home and future school years). While I find structured activities such as circle time, lining up, snack-time, prayer and multi-tasked games and crafts to be invaluable to the development of our youngests, I also find those unstructured activities just as vital!
I LOVE to give our kiddos an opportunity to explore on their own. God has gifted them with AMAZING minds and imaginations, which are firing with all engines! Often times, adulthood and responsibilities of life itself forces us to damper some of those creative juices. I work very hard to fill my classroom with opportunities to develop those structured rules, but also ensure that there is plenty of time to let exploration soar!. This is visible in our activities, free play, games, crafts, artwork and more!
Today, we are going to use both those structured and unstructured concepts in our continued theme of learning via imagination. We are going to have 2 stations.
Station 1 (Unstructured): Various types of materials will be set up, including strips of paper, yarn, buttons, pom poms, colored shells, eyes, etc. If you are doing this at home, grab whatever you have!!! I will give the kiddos no direction except that they can create anything they want with these materials. When I first did this exercise, I let there be crayons on the table, but quickly learned that the kiddos will go right to the crayons to draw because that is what they are familiar with. I no longer have any writing tools so they are forced to think outside of the box. This is such a neat activity!!!!
Station 2 (Structured): The kiddos will be asked to used the beads to trace along the 'Harold and the Purple Crayon' worksheet. Once they are finished with this task, they will be asked to trace the shapes with a purple crayon, of course. This is great for shape recognition, structured direction following abilities, and those fine motor skills! It is fun to see how the kiddos will try create their own patterns, use only certain colors or even certain types of beads!!! Click on the below 'Harold and the Purple Crayon Shape Trace' Worksheet for a FREE Download!!!
It's going to be a rainy, icky day outside so if we HAVE some extra time, we are going to play card games and paint! We have a little 'Harold' themed purple Go Fish and Matching Card game (simply pulled the purple items out of my Go Fish stack). -And, we are going to pull out those purple paints and let our creative juices flow!!!! Can't wait!!! We will be having a cozy fun-filled day inside learning, growing and sharing in God's love while the rain, wind & snow can do what it wants outside!!! Have a great day!