This has been the biggest hit this week so far. We are studying bugs and butterflies and waiting (kind of) patiently for our baby caterpillars from Insect Lore. I am excited as this is my first time doing the live-hatch kit with a class. But enough about what's going to happen-- this is what my kids have been borderline obsessed with this week- chocolate play doh, plastic flowers, and plastic bugs.
I used this recipe from Mama Miss for the chocolate play doh, but added a smidge more oil. My kiddos LOVE it. It's smooth and smells amazing. We did talk about how it wasn't food and wasn't to eat. (We celebrated successfully not eating it by having chocolate milk at snack.) The plastic bugs were in Target's party section for $3. They are bigger and a bit more detailed than the dollar store bugs so worth the investment. I got the flowers from the Goodwill and a local re-use store for cheap. Tomorrow a fellow teacher friend of mine suggested rocks and twigs so we'll give that a go. I also think we'll make fossils from clay and back them to keep them since the kids seem to enjoy that aspect.
We've been singing a bug anatomy song and today I caught a few of them singing it as they played. Last year I vividly remember the previous three year old teacher photocopying bug life cycle worksheets and them coloring it was their activity (I was in the two year old room at the time). This activity has brought so much more to the table: lots of language and talking about what's going on. Social skills- asking for a turn with a certain bug or flower, suggesting to share their play doh to make a bigger mountain. Math- comparing, matching- lots of them would imprint two bugs into their doh and then matching them back up. Comparing what characteristics each bug has (wings, no wings).
I saw this today on Facebook and it just hits home my point: (substitute worksheet/ditto for textbook)
Until then, play, create, and get messy!-