January 19, 2018

This week in science RHP kids have started to explore the human body. As we were building the house, many children wanted our giant, Krok to be able to go into the house with him. As we experimented with this we realized that his body was too big, and didn’t bend in the right ways to allow him to enter. Many kids had the idea that we should build another giant, a friend for Krok, who could bend and enter the house. How can we create a creature, a friend for Krok that can bend and have the ability to enter the house and interact with us more? This inspired a study of the human body. We’ve been using various visual aids, including the book “Uncover the Human Body” (newer version here), and other tools to help us explore our bodies, like a stethoscope, a blood pressure gauge, and some red balloons to demonstrate how our lungs work. Listening to kid’s thoughts about the different parts of their bodies and how they function has been illuminating, and we will use this input to inform how we start to build our new giant figure starting next week.

“It’s like a bird.” (How her heart sounds)

“That looks scary.” (An illustration of intestines)

“My mom got boobies but they’re normal like flowers or trees. They’re for like milk or coffee.”

“My heart helps me jump.”

“My blood comes out of my mouth. You cry.”

“There’s a strawberry inside my head.”

“My sister is inside my head.”

“Crash! Crash! Crash!” (Describing the sound of his heart)

“What are our body parts built from?”

“You’re bones are hard.”

“You’re heart goes in your body. It goes wiggle, wiggle.”

“I feel it like a horse.” (Her heartbeat)

“These are muscles. Muscles are healthy things.”

“Why do tummies go grumble grumble?”

“Sounds like bubbles.”

“I like this one because the different body of their skin is a peach or brown color and I kind of like that peach or brown color.”

January 18, 2018

Names play an important part in school life. A child's name is a part of their identity and we try to honor that in a variety of ways. We sing songs about their names, label their personal spaces with name tags, and we encourage them to write their names on their work or have a teacher or friend help them. 

Throughout the year we have provided opportunities for the children to practice identifying, writing, and spelling their names. In the new year our Scope and Sequence work will focus on exposing children to letters and sounds of the alphabet. Using a child's name is a natural way to do this because every child is interested in their own name! For this work we have been using a print out of their name with the magnetic letters. The children start by identifying the letters they know in their name, a teachers helps when they get stuck. Next they find the letters of their name using the magnet letters. Many children are just being to learn how to identify the first letter in their name while others can identify several or all of their letters. This work is also a good opportunity for children to begin to notice the similar qualities of letters. It is quite common for a child to use the upper case H in place of the upper case I or the W for M. In these cases we point out how tricky it can be and offer helpful ways to accurately identify letters that look alike. For children who can already identifying each letter of their name, if the interests is there, we support them in finding the letters of a siblings name or a friends name. Enjoy some photos of the children doing this work. 

January 17, 2018

During afternoon work time, one of the choices for the Green Room and Purple Room kids has been to work in the block area in the Blue Room.  This is an open-ended time to build that allows the children to choose what and how they want to construct.  The children start by thinking about what they want to build, either building on their own or building with a friend. Towers, boats, planes, and castles or fortresses are among some of the more popular building choices.  One day a child even decided to build a lion with his blocks.  Over the last several sessions we have been including some of our mini Kroks and incorporating them into the building.  On one occasion a house was built for Krok to live in and careful thought was put into the size of the door.  They wanted to make sure he could fit through his own door!  One child wanted to add a chimney so Krok could sit by the fire.  On another day there was already an elaborate structure up left over from morning work time.  A Chinese House is what one of the children who had helped build it told us it was.  The children spent the whole afternoon work time using it and Krok together.  Traps were made, slides were made, and walls were added and removed to give Krok different spaces in the house.  During this entire building time, the kids using the Chinese House were very respectful of the original structure and the architects that made it.

Here are some photos of block building of the last several days.  Enjoy!

January 16, 2018

One thing that we've been thinking a lot in art is challenge. Now that children know the basics of the Blue Room (what materials are called, where they go when they're not being used, how to make artistic choices, etc.), I've noticed them settling in to routines and returning to certain ideas or media again and again. This means that they're ready for more stimulating and difficult work! 

Challenges are different for every child, and I've been working one on one with everyone to ensure that any new challenge is tailored to their age, development, interests, and skills. For some children, an appropriate challenge is writing their name when they're finished with their art work. For other children, it may be to draw their block structure or sculpture after they're finished creating it.

One challenge that I've presented as an option to everyone is planning a painting before they get started. Before they begin painting, they sketch out in pencil what they want their painting to look like. Then, they think about what colors they want each part of their drawing to be. If they don't know how to make a certain color, kids can consult our new color mixing chart. The last step is getting out paint materials and painting on top of their drawing. This has led children to create much more representational art work. Subjects they've tackled have included portraits, tornadoes, bulldozers, and "a volcano with one leg." Keep an eye on your child's cubby for paintings being sent home!

January 12, 2018

Lost scarf alert! Wynne’s homemade beige/tan bandana type scarf is missing! It has a lot of sentimental value, so if you see it or if it came home with you by mistake, please let us know. Thanks!

This week in the afternoon students have had a chance to participate in movement. This is a great opportunity to start to think about our bodies and the different parts of our bodies in a new way. We start by taking of our shoes and socks. Simply feeling our bare feet on the floor and rug is a thrilling tactile experience that we spend a little time with. We practice some quiet meditation, and then we get our bodies moving! We practice a combination of yoga, creative movement - through mirroring and follow the leader type games - and free movement (dance party!). We’ve been ending with some kind of inversion, plow pose, or a modified headstand with feet on the wall, to get blood flowing to the head! One goal of this work is to get kids to move their bodies in new ways that are unusual for them in their experience in our school environment so far.  Another goal is to start to name body parts together and increase children's fluency in language around their body, how it is feeling physically, and in describing their movements.

January 11, 2018

REMINDER: This Monday, January 15 is the second annual RHP Day of Service in honor of Dr. King! Join us to make dolls and stuffed animals for the Doll Adoption Project!

This week the different threads of our investigation have begun to merge and take shape. For example, during afternoon work time children are continuing to work with our neighborhood map by sharing their thoughts on where they think Krok would like to visit. While in the morning some children are continuing to act as the caretakers of Krok by planning and creating different items he needs to go out in the world. So far they have made him a pair of shoes!  

The conversations that have arisen as the children share where Krok might want to visit in our neighborhood have frequently centered on the places that they themselves have significant connections to. One child chose the foot bridge that he crosses to get to school while another child said Krok should visit Grandma's house, "for the cookies!" After they have shared where Krok should visit, they find the location on the map and then they draw a picture of Krok visiting that place. 

Through the observations of these afternoon groups we have noticed that many of the children have a lot to say about the location they selected for Krok to visit. Therefor we plan to spend a bit more time on this part of the project to allow the children time to sufficiently explore these ideas.   

January 10, 2018

Monday morning, instead of going straight to work after our usual morning meeting, the Purple Room and the Green Room met together in the multi-purpose room for our first whole school reflection meeting.  Throughout the year each class has been having reflection meetings in their own rooms to share what they worked on during morning and afternoon work times.  Today we wanted to get together to reflect on work that we have been doing and plan for upcoming projects.

Our first job was to reflect on the work we have done so far with our giant, Krok.  In answer to the question, “What have we done so far with Krok?”  We received the following answers…

“I helped paint him red”

“We made him a coat”

“We gave him a face”

“I helped with everything”

Next we focused on things Krok might need to be prepared for the cold weather.  Here is a list of what the kids thought Krok might need…

Snow pants

A shirt

A hood

Metrocard/bus card

A hat

Boots/fuzzy ones

Inside shoes/sport shoes/slippers

Gloves

A scarf

A balaclava

Pants

Thought was given to what colors these items should be.  Rainbow, red, and blue were the colors generally agreed upon.

On Tuesday we met again.  We began by reviewing what we talked about on Monday and then turned our focus to things Krok might need for school.  The following is the list the kids came up with...

Pants

Lunch and a lunch box

A long sleeved shirt

Cookies

Lettuce

Sheets

A blanket

A lovey (bear, t-rex, or bunny)

Backpack

Water bottle

Sweatshirt

Paper and paint

And of course... a cubby to keep it all in

Now that we have decided what Krok needs, our next step is to begin making these items for him.  We are looking forward to seeing what the children end up creating and hearing about their future plans in coming whole school meetings.

It is worth noting how smoothly these first meetings went.  With few reminders kids remembered to raise their hands and wait to be called on when they had something to contribute.  And, kids listened respectfully to the person speaking.  All in all it was a great first whole school meeting!

January 9, 2018

This past week in afternoon art, we have been experimenting with fabric and natural dyes. We have dyed white fabric with red cabbage and turmeric so far and the results have ranged from disappointing to vibrant! 

Our first experience with dyeing fabric was with red cabbage. After smelling and tasting the cabbage (on which there were mixed feelings--see photos), kids helped to chop it up. Then, we put everything in a pot and boiled it until the water turned purple. The next day, kids used tongs to remove the boiled cabbage from the pot and put it into the compost. This was a surprisingly popular activity! After this, we boiled our fabric in the purple water and let it sit for a few days. After all this work, we ended up with a very, very faint lavender fabric.

Our next dye project was with turmeric, which was far more successful. Kids measured 12 teaspoons of turmeric and mixed it with water and fabric. They used tongs to move the fabric around and within minutes our fabric was bright yellow. We boiled it to set the color.

See below for photos!

January 8, 2018

As many of you know, today was a day of unexpected events at RHP! At just after 8:30, just as kids were being dropped off, our fire alarms started going off! We do periodic fire drills throughout the year, so the kids know what to do: no talking, no sounds at all, stop what you are doing and go right to the walking rings and take any available ring, all as fast as possible. Teachers make sure everyone gets outside. This was the first time we had an unplanned event like this happen—when we do drills, we always tell the kids, “it’s just a drill, just for practice, there is no fire” but this time, although there was no sign of danger, we didn’t know what was wrong, so it was the real thing. When we have to evacuate our building, we cross the street at Summit and wait by the Summit Street Garden, where we do another count. We crossed the street and waited. Because school had just begun, kids were still arriving with parents and caregivers. We all watched as the fire department arrived. We weren’t sure yet what had happened, or if we were going to be able to go back to school. We learned that a pipe had burst elsewhere in the building, and that RHP was safe, so luckily, teachers were able to go back and grab the kids’ coats while we waited. The fire department cleared us to go back inside, and school resumed as usual: except we had a lot to talk about!

Everyone was curious about what had happened, and so most of our morning meeting time was spent discussing the events.  The loud sound and the sudden disruption of their day can be unsettling and even scary, and so we wanted to make sure we all got a chance to talk about what had happened, and why. In the Purple Room, we talked about the weather, and how cold it has been outside, and how when temperatures are so low, sometimes pipes break. Kids had questions about why a fire alarm might go off when there is no fire, so we talked about how an alarm might sound if there is any kind of danger, and that the alarm, although it is loud and can be scary, keeps us safe because it tells us if we need to leave the school. One child said, “that never happened at my house,” and others chimed in. We then talked about how in all of our houses we also have fire alarms, and how they look different from our school alarms, but serve the same purpose. In the Green Room, kids were interested in where the pipe was, and some thought it might be in the basement. They were intrigued with the idea that there were parts of the building they’d never seen, and speculated what these might look like (the pipe was actually in the garage of our building, right next to RHP).

Then, the alarm went off… again. This was during morning work time, and so everyone had arrived. The whole school—kids working in the Green, Purple, and Blue Rooms—had to evacuate again. This was kind of scary for some children, as most of them hadn’t yet arrived when the first one started ringing. Such a sudden and abrupt disruption of the routines they’ve so consciously internalized during the last few months can be upsetting for them. This time, all the kids had to quickly exit the school without coats, and from their point of view, it was a long wait in the cold. We all huddled together and waited for a word: it turned out the alarm had been set off when the water was being turned back on.

Given the circumstances, the kids did really well and we were very proud of everyone’s ability to listen to directions and do exactly what we practiced during our drills. Thank you to everyone for their cooperation and understanding during the confusion of the morning.

The evacuations were a topic of spirited conversation all day. During lunch, kids went over the events together. Everyone was concerned that it would happen again, which was valid, as it had. Kids were saying, “I hope it doesn’t go off during nap time!” In the Purple Room, many kids drew about their experience in their daily picture journals, and during afternoon work time in the Blue Room, many kids chose to draw firefighters, water, and other related pictures in their sketchbooks.

That was our day! 

Two final notes: please remember, we go outside as often as possible, often in weather below freezing, with snow on the ground. Please send your kids to school in or with appropriate clothes, especially hats and shoes. We want everyone to be able to enjoy outdoor time! Thank you! 

Also: An RHP family is missing a brown scarf that might have accidentally gone home with another child; please look out for it! 

January 5, 2018

Reminder: Weekend Spanish music begins tomorrow! There is a Canta y Baila Conmigo demo this Saturday, 1/6, at 11:00 am at RHP. Join the FREE demo class, and bring a friend!

Happy Friday!

Since the beginning of our work on the house, danger and protection have been prominent themes during both building and dramatic play. Sometimes, at the beginning of a work time, there is something of a scramble as children try to quickly understand what game their peers want to play and what their own role should be in the group play. Not everybody decides to engage in the same narrative all the time. One day this week a group of children ran into the house, exclaiming, “Look out for the big bad wolf!” But their game quickly fizzled when no one was willing to play the wolf. One child began asking each of her peers if they wanted to be the wolf, with no luck. It is common that children will balk from being the “bad guy” or the scary force than many of the games they like to play require for impetus. After coming to a brief standstill, one child, who had been quietly watching, stepped forward saying with a confidence that is just starting to emerge in him, “I’ll be the big bad wolf! ROAR!” as he reached his hands in through the walls of the house to playfully grab at his peers. Everyone screeched with delight, and suddenly, as the game progressed they all wanted a turn being the big bad wolf. The power that came with the role was suddenly alluring. The wolf could easily control the emotions and actions of the other children. Some children clearly preferred being huddled with their peers inside the house - they were clearly experiencing the very real thrill of being just out of reach of danger. Others found joy in creating the group reaction, experimenting with how to use their power to affect the direction of the play.

January 3, 2018

Happy 2018 Green Room families! We are excited to let you know we have a new Green Room student. Her name is Wynne and she will be joining the Green Room on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Before leaving for the holiday break the teachers meet to discuss the role of shelf work in our curriculum. One important element we touched on is the autonomy inherent in most of the shelf work available in the Green Room. We talked about the role shelf work plays in supporting intrinsic learning because it allows children to go at their own pace and choose work that is interesting to them. Most of the works are presented to children by a teacher which is usually enough for them to then explore the material on their own. After this discussion we switched up several shelf works as well as work on our sensorial shelf. 

Since returning from break the children have been eager to try several new shelf and sensorial works. Enjoy some photos of the first few days of work time! 

January 2, 2018

Welcome back! Welcome back! Quick note: our Service Day will be held on 1/15 this year (see this email for details). If you have a sewing machine that you would be able to loan us for that day or have any donations of ribbons, buttons, or other sewing notions to bring in before 1/15, we would greatly appreciate it! Reach out to Jill at art@redhookplaygroup.org should you have any questions.

Before the break, we took Krok to the Urban Meadow. During a game of Ring around the Rosie, our giant sustained a somewhat alarming injury--his arm fell off! The children expressed their concern about their friend:

"He needs to be a patient!"

"Maybe he should go back to school."

For the rest of the week, we used our morning work time to take care of the giant. The first thing we did was glue his arm back on and wrap a bandage around the wound. Afterwards, the care taking play continued in the block area. Kids gave him shots, listened to his heart, and checked his ears:

"I used this for his heart if it feels good or bad."

"I heard thump thump!"

"Is this a ear thing with a light on?"

"I see bugs!"

"When he was outside, he might have gotten bugs in his ear."

"Can you put this telescope [stethoscope] on his bellybutton?"

After checking his vitals, they decided to make some structures out of blocks to use with the giant. They made a bed with a pillow, a stove to make him some food, and used a block with a photo of the giant taped on it as his lovey:

"He's feeling a little sleepy."

"The giant will sleep in a cozy bed."

"We need a pillow to sleep on."

"And a oven to make chicken and mashed potatoes."

"He needs medicine--strawberry medicine."

"This is his lovey."

At one point, a child used a pretend phone to call the doctor. She had a very thorough conversation:

"Hello? Dr. Gilgoff? The giant isn't feeling really good, so we're just wondering if you could come here right away. Alright. Be here in a jiffy. Jiffy means ten minutes."

This care taking play with our papier mache friend is incredibly engaging for the children. See below for photos!

December 22, 2017

Happy Friday! If you find yourself with any extra ribbons this holiday season we would love to take them off your hands! Currently accepting donations of ribbon, buttons, and other sewing materials in anticipation of our MLK service day in January. 

We put some of the finishing touches on our house this week, including a roof! This has made the space even more inviting for play and secret experiences. This week the house has been: a boat, a broken train, a peach orchard, a place of safety and a place of fear (haunted!). Now that the house is in a somewhat completed state, kids have become very interested in inspecting it and fixing it:

“ Looks good, no holes in the roof!”

“But the rain could still come in?”

“No, only if it comes in the side.”

“Who wants a hammer? There’s two more hammers guys.”

“Hey Augie, need a screw?”

“We’re the cleaning crew!”

“We have to repair the engine, why does it keep breaking?”

“I have to cut the rope for the engine to work.”

In today’s group, kids used the contents of a bucket of metal materials as props for making and fixing and engine for their train. Children are brimming with ideas about how they want to expand and build upon this work. We’ll see how their ideas come to life after our break!

Some stories that emerged from this week’s groups playing in and around the house:

Once upon a time there was a fire that never burned out but one day it burned everything. But Rory and Lewis used it to cook their food but it burnt it but they ate it anyway. Then they wrote a sign that said “Only Kids Allowed, No Grown Ups.” They go to a visitors house that says “Only Grown Ups and Kids but not Dogs and Cats Allowed.” Then a big bear and his name was Baldy the Bear and he ate Rory and Lewis because he was so hungry because he didn’t have any honey or salmon. They put a top on the fire so it couldn’t burn out but it burned the floor and the door. The fire went on to our house and burned our house inside our house. Then we fixed it. Another bear came and ate the bear that ate Rory and Lewis. The Natalia and Marion came into Rory and Lewis’s house and then Baldy ate Natalia and Marion and they saw Rory and Lewis inside there. Inside the belly. They can cut a hole out with scissors and they all ran back into the house. Then Baldy can put tape on his belly and he puts band-aids on it. He breaks the house with his teeth (he loves wood) and took Rory and Lewis and Natalia and Marion and locks them in a trap.

Once upon a time I was playing in a house that was made out of sticks with all of my friends and a monster came and smashed the house but Moon came and saved us and we ran to school. Then we just flied around like a bat and flied all the way around the house to rescue everybody from the alligators under our feet. Then all of them went to their houses and went to bed and in the morning they ate breakfast and took a walk and went to school. When mommy opened the door mommy was working on her computer.

December 21, 2017

The Green Room kids continue to love movement and music. Lately songs that we have been singing since the start of the year are being reinvented by the kids. One song the kids are changing up is Open Shut Them. We have always changed the pace up, fast and slow, and the volume, loud and soft. But recently, they have been requesting we change the words to animal sound. “Let’s do it like a lion.” So in place of the words we sing “roar roar roar roar....” in rhythm with song and hand movements. That love doing it this way!

Another song being reinvented is Rum Sum Sum, a song with specific hand movements for each word. After we sing it the traditional way, the kids request we sing it “with no words.” In this case we just do the hand movements keeping pace by sing the words in our brains. This version of the song has been very popular and we are even finding new songs to "sing" this way.

We are excited that the children using their creatitvity to come up with new ways to sing very old songs!  

December 20,2017

One of the language works in the Green Room that has been out on the shelf for a while now is the name recognition work.  Many of you got the opportunity to see this work during our Parent/Teacher Conferences.  This work is particularly popular and hasn’t lost its draw over the weeks.  The children love taking this work out and working on their own or in pairs or small groups.  They have a great time finding their own name and photo as well as those of their friends.  Sometimes they just like to find the names, identify them, and then line them up.  Other times you can hear them calling across the room to a friend letting them know that their name has been found!  And sometimes, it’s just really important to get up and deliver the card to the person once found.  The children are not just interested in identifying names and friends but also get excited when they recognize letters.

A new work on the shelf is magnetic letters and a magnetic board.  This work can stand on it’s own but we have also noticed the children’s interest in using this work in conjunction with the name work.  They children have been enjoying sorting letters, putting as many on the board as possible, experimenting with the magnetic aspect of the letters, and naming letters they know.  A few children even began to use the letters to copy some of the names from the name cards or for finding the magnetic letter that correspond with the letter in their name or that of their friend.

We don’t expect them to know all their letters but this work helps to familiarize the kids with letters which is the goal for the Green Room kids.

 

 

December 19, 2017

What a week we've had in art! In the afternoons, we continued storytelling about our friendly, Krok. Since so many stories included descriptions or illustrations of the giant's face, we decided to give the giant some facial features. Children used hot glue guns to attach eyes, eyebrows, a nose, a mouth with teeth, and cheeks. They also gave him a bellybutton!

Themes of danger and safety continue to crop up in stories as well, but they've also begun talking about being friends with the giant, caring for him and keeping him safe, and having him visit their homes and families:

"[The giant] came over and my friend Maddox came over to my house and we play family. My dad came over and said, 'Are you fine?' And I say, 'Yes.'"

"At nighttime he sleeps with me. He sleeps in my bed but there's not much room so he has to sleep on the couch. In the morning, we bring the giant back to school. I like giants."

"I swim right over here with Scarlet and the giant. I hold the giant while I'm swimming so he don't fall."

These ideas show up in conversation and dramatic play throughout the day as well-- not just during storytelling work. At one point, they talked about how cold he would be if we took him outside. This launched a coat-making project that we completed today during morning work time. Children draped brown felt around the giant, used scissors to cut around his body, sewed up the edges, and attached buttons. After work time, we dressed the giant in his coat and took him to the Urban Meadow where he bravely endured many games of Ring Around the Rosie (this has been a recurring event ever since we put him on wheels). See below for photos of our week with the giant, and follow this link for a video of kids playing with him.

December 18, 2017

Work time in the Green Room continues to be a productive and busy hour. There are a few new language works that have sparked the children's interest. One is small easel with water and a paint brush. As they paint the easel darkens with the water and slowly evaporates after a few minutes. Accompanying this work is a chart that shows different types of lines including horizontal and vertical lines, zigzag and spiral line. Some children are interested in completely covering the board while others are interested in making more careful deliberate marks. The chart is a good reference for children who are showing an interest in drawing with more control.

Another work that is new to the Green Room is the mystery box. This is a Montessori sensorial work but is also a great tool to support vocabulary development. When using this work the child puts their hands through two holes to find a "mystery" item. As they feel the item, we encourage them to describe it and perhaps try to identify it. Finding words to describe what they feel requires them to really think and use their sense of touch. While holding the pinecone we asked, "what does it feel like?" "Um, um, um, scratchy." 

Our schedule work which has been on our shelf for awhile, has recently becoming a frequent choice for children. This work supports an understanding of order which helps aid them in storytelling. Words like first, next, after and last are used as they figure out the correct order of our day. This morning several children worked together to complete this work. 

These three works, though different in nature, help to support the children in using language and promoting the growth of vocabulary.

December 15, 2017

As we approach winter break, we’re starting to finish building our house in the Multi-Purpose Room, which you may have seen if you joined us for our Winter Celebration today! The house finally has 4 walls and a door (in need of another hinge or 2 if you have one at home!). Today we contemplated what we might use for a roof. Kids had some ideas including tile, “polite sticks”, and the same green plastic material we used for the windows. We’ll think more about it next week as we put the finishing touches on our structure. As the house becomes something we can play with more, a variety of narratives are emerging. Themes about families and house routines are consistent, but ideas about monsters, the “others” and other darker feelings about what it means to be vulnerable and safe are emerging as well. Encouraging kids to think, talk, draw and play around their ideas about vulnerability and danger - and observing how they resolve those feelings so they can arrive at a place where they feel safe again is a really interesting entry point into this work.

Children have also been very interested in how our giant, Krok is related to the house they build and how he can act as a potential character in their play. Sometimes Krok represents a force to be feared, but more often, kids want to interact with Krok as a playmate, and help him do things like walk or read the newspaper. Many children do not want Krok to feel lonely and are interested in making more people and animals to populate our house or possibly our expanding neighborhood!

December 14, 2017

Green and Purple Room children bundled up and headed to Mother Cabrini for our first fun day in the snow! Once we got there we realized that the rubber matting on the structure side was too slippery for us to really play on as a whole group.  Much to the children’s excitement both sides of the playground were opened up for play!  There was lots of slipping and sliding, snow angel making, along with other dramatic play. Many of the children enjoyed the experience of trying to keep their balance on the slippery ground. What a great way to build their core strength and coordination.  Other children had a great time running from one end to the other and exploring the areas of Mother Cabrini that we don’t get to use every day, especially under the trees.

December 13, 2017

Today we had our first indoor “playground” time this year. We try to go outside as a school every day that we can, but there are some days when it is very, very, cold (like today, when, with wind chill, it feels like nine degrees…) we just can't go out. 

It’s still important for children to be able to use their full bodies and participate in gross motor movement, so when we can’t go outside, we use our indoor space as best we can to facilitate activities that get kids moving and using their bodies in a way that is closest to what they would get to do were they able to run and play outside.

We use a rotation of three activities with three groups, and the kids move through each one for the full usual outdoor time, from 10:30-11:45. In the MPR, kids built with the large wooden hollow blocks, which take strength and full body muscles to move and manipulate. In the Purple Room, Laura led movement activities, where kids played skip-to-my-Lou, a similar game called "jump in the water," pretended to be animals, and a mirror movement game. In the Blue Room, we set up an obstacle course that required kids to climb, crawl, weave in and out of cones, lift a heavy block of clay, and roll a log across the room (part of the course even included giving our friendly red giant a high-five).

Here are some photos from indoor movement time today, and a video from our obstacle course cheering section!