Today we kicked off our Whole Child Program with our Wednesday students! We couldn't be more excited to expand Side by Side Studio to include a nature preschool dedicated to child-led learning and exploration!
For our first weeks together, we will be learning about ourselves and each other. We will work with reflections and faces - practicing self portraits and recognizing facial features. Our main focus will be to establish our little community and figure out what interests us. Our daily rhythm will always include ample time for outdoor creative play and invitations for exploration.
*Outdoor Creative Play*
This morning our friends were intrigued by the tires and wooden planks. After attempting to walk across a wooden plank, R found out that the wooden plank would rise up if he stepped on it. I asked him what he thinks we could do to fix it. R said that we could place another wooden plank underneath of it to keep it still. R picked up the other wooden plank and put it underneath, however, he noticed that it was too small - meaning it wouldn't support the plank.
Instead of feeling defeated, R resolved his problem by finding a different way to play with the planks. He placed a plank on top of our gutter tubes. By distributing his weight on either side of his body, R would move the plank up and down. F observed from the side and said that it was a "see-saw" and that "one person could go on one side and the other person could stand on the other side and the one person flies way up in the air." R and T then both stood on either side of the plank and alternated between going up in the air and going down onto the ground.
*Indoor Creative Play*
While inside our studio, our students are given the freedom to explore our different "stations" as they wish. Our tinkering area is always made available and was a quick favorite! T and W especially enjoyed figuring out how to use the paper punches to create different shapes. They also thoroughly enjoyed using scissors - a fantastic fine motor skills activity! I see a lot of cutting various mediums in our future!
F spent some of his day working with our magnetic tunnel maze. He experimented with the different sizes of pom-poms. Through this trial-and-error, F found out that the larger pom-poms would not fit through his maze. I asked him why they didn't work. He replied that the hole in the trophy parts was too small. He was able to distinguish the size difference between the pom-poms and knew which ones would work and which ones wouldn't.
*Nature Walk & Journals*
Our friends will always have access to their own journals during our day. Whether they wish to use them in-studio or outside during our nature walks, their journals are available for writing down ideas, drawing observations, or wondering about things.
Today they chose to bring them with us on our nature walk.
We are very lucky to have a BEAUTIFUL flower garden a few houses down from the studio. Today we stopped and smelled every different flower! We each chose our favorite flower whether it was based upon the smell or the color. Mrs. Tory's lap was a great pillow to use to get a better perspective!
WE FOUND BERRIES! The children were very excited to find berries and decided to hunt for as many as they could find. Although we couldn't eat them, we chose to save them to use later.
Today we used mirrors to look at our reflections! We drew what we saw in the mirrors on paper and on the mirror themselves.
We had a wonderful first Wednesday of The Whole Child! I look forward to getting to know each child and starting our journey together!
See you next week!