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Children as Scientists

Posted by on Jun 23, 2015 in Play | 0 comments

Children as Scientists

Developmental psychologist Alison Gopnik gave a TED talk in 2011 on the topic of what babies think.  Dr. Gopnik’s work parallels that of Patricia Kuhl in referring to the statistical prowess of infants, indicating that babies absorb immense amounts of data that their brains must make sense of in order to learn. According to Gopnik, babies are designed to learn.  Infants and young children are “the research and development division of the human species” in that they make...

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Who Says Girls Don’t Like To Build With Blocks?

Posted by on Jan 9, 2013 in Play | 0 comments

Who Says Girls Don’t Like To Build With Blocks?

The following are creations by girls who are 4 and 5 years old.  No one told them to play blocks and no adult helped them think of ideas.  I acknowledge that two out of the three are decidedly traditionally “girl” themes, but the point is to encourage them to express themselves in many different ways. I never cease to be amazed by childrens’ imagination and skill!   This is a zoo complete with compartments for the different animals and paths for people to walk on.  ...

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Building Blocks

Posted by on Apr 18, 2012 in Play | 0 comments

Building Blocks

How does one go from this… to this? Without some kind of master plan, or blueprint, or hours spent coming up with ideas? The genius of play. If only we could harness this creativity of six year olds and bottle it! Imagine the places these amazing minds can go if they continue on their current...

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Misunderstandings During Play

Posted by on Feb 28, 2012 in Language Development, Play | 0 comments

Misunderstandings During Play

 “You’re being a bully!”  I heard a child yelling from the block area.   Upon arriving at the scene, I found two angry looking boys facing another boy who looked as though he was struggling to hold back the tears. “Teacher,  he called E a bully!” the angry boys informed me, aghast that such a strong word could be uttered in Kindergarten. “But, first he…” the sad boy tried to defend himself. Taking in the scene before me, and knowing the key...

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I Just Want to Play!

Posted by on Feb 27, 2012 in Play | 0 comments

I Just Want to Play!

Last week, my husband and I took our kids on our annual ski trip. After digging up ski suits, hats, gloves, scarves and goggles and driving for hours, we finally reached our destination. More preparation and waiting ensued as we were fitted for skis and poles, tried on several pairs of boots which were then securely fastened and Mom and Dad’s credit cards had nearly all their juice sucked out of them. Finally, we made our way outside to where there was REAL snow! Of course we wanted to...

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Artists, Age 6

Posted by on Feb 18, 2012 in Play | 1 comment

Artists, Age 6

Kindergarten children at my school enjoy doing what we call observational drawings (or painting). The first step in the process is to create a powerpoint presentation (printed out and pictured above) of real artists’ work.  We present the powerpoint to the kids as a slide show using a projector and have a discussion about what they see.  As we ask leading questions, the children notice lines, shapes, colors and spacial relationships. After an engaging discussion, we provide a still life...

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