Hello, my fellow home childcare providers. Today, I am showing how the children in my home daycare used a math inquiry play invitation I set up at the light table.
What Is On The Light Table –
- Printed numbers on transparent paper.
- Beads – like the Mardi Gras beads (not for very young children)
- Translucent cups
- Translucent stirrers
- Pieces from the sorry board game (loose parts)
A play invitation allows children to manipulate the materials in many ways that support their learning style. Some children counted, others found ways to balance the beads on the stirrers, some placed the beads in the hollow shape of the numbers, others created tic tac toe, and one child intended to make many letters with the stirrers.
After counting the number four and placing the buttons in the number four – here is a child making the letter M.
Please note it may seem like a lot of pieces on the table, but this is how the children played with items – I do not own the play – I only set it up and leave them to use the items.
Yes, this invitation was set up for math inquiry, but the children used the same materials to learn about shapes, letters, and mathematical concepts of capacity. This activity also engaged their fine motor skills, problem-solving skills, language skills, and eye and hand coordination. One child kept filling the cups with the beads – testing if the long beads could be contained in the cup. Through observation, I noticed how this opportunity helped their creativity and curiosity – that out-of-the-box kind of thinking.
This activity was done in January of 2023. During the winter months, when it is subzero outdoors, we often find ways to make learning fun and interesting. Also, our play-based environment affords us many opportunities for creative play and learning. My fellow home daycare providers, many times, the children use play invitations in different ways than how educators perceive them.
Until next time – I am Miss Sue, your fellow home educator in the trenches walking alongside you.
xoxo – Suzette Salmon aka Miss Sue