By Eva Kibby
Since the Seedlings summer workshop, Carol Barker has been making an effort to incorporate her preschool children’s early and natural wonder in nature into the daily life of her team’s curriculum and work. Her students are so invested in bringing “nature” into their class that Carol and her team have been trying to intertwine what the children have collected into dramatic play, art, science, sand play, small world investigations, and of course the playground. Students have collected pinecones, seeds, acorns, leaves, shell pieces, and sticks.
Since they’ve collected an abundance of sticks they decided to generate a list of things to do with sticks.
Students have compared the size and texture of the sticks. They have glued them on cardboard to make the letters that are in their names. Sticks have been used in other ways including creating designs and patterns. They have written with twigs, built nests for squirrels and they have found other ways to explore as well.
Carol believes “that student behavior, with regards to rough and tumble play has diminished” since the children are self-motivated and entertained with collecting and exploring during outdoor time.