Do you love recycling items in your childcare environment? If yes, this is a simple yet effective activity that will help children creatively learn – this can be used in your creche, nursery, reception class, primary school, early years environment, home daycare, in-home care, and …
- Eye-hand coordination
- Fine motor skills
- Early Mathematics Skills – count, capacity, measurement, estimation
- So much more
I got this rhombus pattern cardboard from an appliance package; I immediately knew it was a piece for my daycare at first sight. The children love using that piece for many creative build-outs.
This woven recycled cardboard is often used in the envelope schema, which the young ones in my care have been exploring with. I will update this activity with reptiles in a future post, but I wanted to show how loved this cardboard piece is – it aids with many types of play.
A mobile infant took the sticks and a bottle over to this block area. I allow my children to transport materials from one location to the next – that transportation schema helps their learning and investigation. Califia farm bottles have a wide mouth to the bottles, and this provides ease of input or output – the children love using it for various activities. I save these bottles ALOT! Tip – wash bottles with hot water and dawn soap, this will remove all the milk deposits – and turn upside down for drying.
If possible – leave materials out for some time, it allows all children to use, understand and have a higher level of play. Having an activity table can help to support many of their play. I have observed that when some of my children need a quiet time to themselves, they head to this table to build out.
This simple activity provided a continuous cycle of filling and emptying the bottle. A child tried to put more sticks in the already full bottle; she kept trying, then quizzically, she turned to me and said, ‘Miss Sue, it not working!’ She tried to jam more sticks inside the bottle (learning about the bottle’s capacity – there was no more room for that stick).
This picture shows a child who took ownership of the bottle, and she held the bottle higher from her brother’s reach as she said, ‘look, Miss Sue, I did it!’ Children are usually proud to show their work, which helps their self-esteem and confidence when acknowledged.
If you elect to do this activity with your littles, please ensure the sticks can pass through the mouth of the bottle (yes if it doesn’t that is learning but at times the children get frustrated when the objects can’t enter the bottle. I’ve had them say, ‘Miss Sue it not working!’)
This play continued until the curtains were drawn for nap time.
The lid of the bottles provides another level of learning – twisting the cap for it to close. Adults sometimes do things on autopilot, but children need to learn how to put the lid on the bottle. What direction to twist, and how to keep the lid from falling off. They observed what happened to the bottle’s contents when the lid was loose. They watched and collaborated with ideas for the sticks to remain in the bottle. Simple play like this helps children to develop life skills.
May your children have fun, investigate and learn with these as the children in my care have.
XoXo – Miss Sue