Sensory play is not only fun, but it’s an important learning experience for young children. Today I brought out one of my winter sensory boxes. I think of this one as the “snowball box” because it’s all white and contains mostly round objects. The ribbon lengths add some of the glitter found with new snow.
To take this experience further I added some different tubes to the table. This group enjoys putting items into containers. They like to stack building blocks. They like to count. Knowing this and providing materials to support their interests, as I expected, the play changed.
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To expand the learning I was able to direct the exploration into sizes and textures. We used different descriptive words starting from the concept of opposites. While exploring in this direction the children discovered that different sounds were occurring. They directed their learning at this point.
One simple sensory box =
- cooperative play
- fine motor
- descriptive language
- expressive language
- math – shape, counting, volume
- focus/attention span
One full morning of fun!
As part of ongoing authentic assessment the videos here and additional ones taken will be used in planning future learning experiences and documented in ePortfolios connecting with the Maine Early Learning Developmental Standards (MELDS).
Here are 10 of the MELDS that were demonstrated this morning:
- Communicates math ideas verbally and non-verbally
- Recognizes the relationship between numbers and quantities
- Transitions from rote counting to 1:1 correspondence
- Matches similar shapes
- Explores three-dimensional and two-dimensional shapes in the environment
- Begins to speak audibly and, with prompting and support, express thoughts, feelings, and idea
- Chooses individual activities
- Develops increased capacity to share materials or caregiver/teacher’s attention
- Uses materials and equipment purposefully, safely and respectfully
- Explores objects and materials, and interacts with others in a variety of new settings