Sunday, November 6, 2011

 From Vegetables to Soup . . .

This week I told the story of The Enormous Turnip to the children.  This is a very old Russian folktale about a turnip that grows so big, a whole family has to help to pull it out.  We had fun play acting the story over and over.  It was nice to see that the children remembered the story from day to day and wanted to try out different roles each time.  This story was also a great platform for discussing vegetables, how different kinds grow differently (like underground or above ground) how they taste, what they look like, etc.  Earlier in the week we sampled a few veggies. The children enjoyed eating my carrots that still had their green stems.  They each picked one and we pretended we were pulling them out of the ground by the stems.  

I had originally planned on making soup with the children, but time ran out so I brought in some homemade tomato soup from home.  We let it warm up in the crock pot and enjoyed smelling the soup, guessing what vegetables were in it.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that they LOVED the soup and wanted more and more.  What a healthy group of eaters we have! (good job parents!) Food is definitely one of this class's curriculum of choice!

They are also becoming wonderful cleaner-uppers!  Here, Karsten and Kaden just had to crawl on the table to get every spot clean!

Other activities this week included painting with seasonal cookie cutters...

Great things happened in the block area.  Karsten is constructing nice buildings on his own.

Kaden and Gunnar showed great teamwork as they took turns adding blocks to their building and then agreeing when to knock it down.

Looking at books together...

We had fun lining up toys on the teeter totter outside.

Lilya likes to pretend the slide structure is her castle.

We enjoyed some new puzzles...

We experimented with a stretchy, colorful tactile material we call, "Gak".  Jane enjoyed making "pancakes" with it.

And, of course on those chilly days, we had to indulge in some hot  cocoa...
The children were asked how many mini marshmallows they would like.  The consensus seemed to be "too many" or ten fingers.

(T/TH) Veggies and Gak!

We began our week by learning the story of The Enormous Turnip, an old Russian folktale about a turnip that grows so big, the farmer needs his whole family to pull it out.  This provoked conversation about different sorts of vegetables and where and how they grow.  We ate some carrots to stand in for turnips (didn't think they would like raw turnip.)

We thoroughly enjoyed playacting this story during the week.  The children took turns being different characters.  I was impressed that they remembered the story for from Tuesday to Thursday quite well.  We talked about that the farmer's family used the big turnip to have something to eat ALL winter.

During snack we also paid attention to snacks that included vegetables.  Elliott had snap peas one day and Camille had carrots and peas.

Outside the kids had fun playing with little pumpkins that were left after the Harvest Festival.

Another part of our week included experimenting with a colorful, stretchy, non-toxic tactile material we call, "GAK".

Gak is a great alternative to play dough.  It is very stretchy and bouncy, but doesn't usually stick to things too much, so it is fun to put things in it and see the Gak bounce back to its original form.

More messy fun came when we began painting with seasonal cookie cutters.  The cookie cutters only lasted so long . . .

The true nature of this age is being able to unabashedly get your hands messy!

Elliott decided to put a car in the paint and spent a good 20 minutes rolling it back and forth, making tracks.

He later discovered he had orange gloves for hands!

It was pretty chilly this week, so we enjoyed some hot chocolate . . .

One of the things I noticed most about this group last week was their ability to focus for long periods.   And their fondness for one another is growing naturally each day.  Here, the kids giggle a bit, telling Elliott his hat is on backwards!

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