Greetings, Hobson families!
March this year at Hobson continued to be a blustery one! As much as we enjoyed sledding, we are ready to get back to sand play, and chasing friends on a playground free of ice! Before break, we noticed that the woods are waking up…the birds are singing, and there are even little peeks of green as the daffodils poke their heads cautiously through the leaves. We will be watching anxiously as our beautiful backyard slowly makes it’s transition back to a lush forest.
One of the highlights of the month in 3 day (fours & fives) was exploring what happens when you add vinegar to baking soda. The children simply cannot get enough of watching the combined mixture bubble and fizz as a result of them combining the two! We started by having the children predict what would happen if we combined the two materials. Then, in small group, we let them try for themselves. The next day they were let to explore as long as they wished, this time with colored vinegar. Some children did this five or six times, marveling at how they could control their “volcano” or “explosion”! We extended their interest by offering this chemical reaction as a group activity at the sensory table and again at small group by letting the gas fill up balloons when they emptied the balloon (filled with baking soda) into the water bottle (which held the vinegar). It might seem like this activity is just for fun, but doing activities like these help children explore cause & effect, apply knowledge and experience to new situations, and compare & measure materials to get different results- all skills that will serve them well in the future.
The 2 am class (3’s & 4’s) continued to explore their senses by finger painting, experiments with color mixing, and we enjoyed making and eating rainbow toast. The 2 pm class has been exploring lots of new art materials and methods—many inspired by the books they have been reading. 2 pm used droppers to splatter paint and then fold paper, exploring what different pictures they could “see” in our art. The children enjoyed coming up with names for their paintings! In addition, they explored pastels and noticed how vivid the colors can be and how they smudge. They continued exploring colors by noticing what happens to paint when you add black or white, or where colors might “hide” in our classroom. (by going on a color scavenger hunt). By far the most interesting addition, was that of the natural clay this month. The children explored the different texture and smell of this material as compared to playdough. They also added water to thin the clay and help mold it. The children added sticks and feathers creating nests for their birds and fences for their animals.
Our friends in the Parent-Child class (2’s with parents) worked on their fine motor skills by feeding toy animals some delicious pretend food using tweezers. Gathering times continue to get a little bit longer as the children’s attention spans grow longer. A favorite book from this month was “Pete The Cat’ and the children loved singing along with the repetitive verse by the end of the book! The 2’s also took a nature walk in our beautiful woods this month, dropping various found objects like twigs and leaves, and even snow, into the water and seeing which one traveled under the bridge faster!