From the Infant Toddler Room (6weeks – 24 months):
It was a Tuesday afternoon, and we were going to explore the pumpkin we had in the classroom. First, newspapers were put on the floor, and then came the pumpkin with the lid cut so that the children could see inside. As the children finished with lunch, one by one they came over. We cut the lid off and I pulled out the some of the guts and seeds, having the change to feel it if they wanted, to let them explore it on their own. Some of the children just wanted to take out the seeds, by using a pincher grasp not wanting to touch the slimy stuff that was part of the pumpkin. As some touched the outside, we talked about how cool, and bumpy the texture was, and the color orange. We also had printed words to a pumpkin song on the white board to sing if we chose too.
Values and Character Development: Group explorations are very important for young children. It helps them develop a sense of “other,” and respect that each person is an individual with individual wants and needs. By giving kids different roles in the pumpkin experience (some pulled the top off, others pulled the guts out, etc.) they are exposed to opportunities to develop empathy, and see thing from another’s point of view.
Literacy Development: Printed words and spoken words are all part of the early literacy experience. Developing the skills necessary to read begins long before we are able to understand “A is for Apple”. Songs keep children engaged, build vocabulary, and will eventually lead to phonetic awareness.
Psychodynamic Development: As a teacher, it is important for me to respect each child’s individual temperament. Some children love the mess of the pumpkin, while others can’t stand it – both of which are okay. As the teacher of infants, I know that I am often the gateway to many new experiences for children. This sensory experience could be the very first time a child encounters a pumpkin – which becomes the scaffolding for every other experience with the pumpkin for the rest of their lives, remembered or not.
Post by Becky