Tag Archives: imagination

Play in the clay

by Katee

Today we invited the children to explore with clay, straws, and beads.  When working with loose parts, a facilitator sometimes has what I call a “lower case plan”. You might have a small vision for how parts could work together, but are unattached from the results or products.  You want to give the children parts that can be successful in captivating their exploratory nature. In this case I knew that straws would be able to stand erect if pushed into the clay, and I chose beads with holes large enough to be threaded through straws.  I knew the pieces could interact, but I was unsure what would happen when the children dug their hands in. They pressed, poked, stabbed, bent, threaded, balanced, connected, wove, and spent a long time creating some really interesting shapes.

Making Machines

By Katee

We have been taking small machines apart, constructing a machinery space in the loft, and projecting video on the wall of factories to see things being made.  This week we also had a small appointment to invent our own machines.

I told the children their machine could do anything they wanted it to and look any way they wanted- it did not have to be realistic or practical.  I was surprised that each machine was so unique.  Although some of the ideas initially being thrown around repeatedly were for ‘fart machines’, the children each came up with a different useful machine all on their own.  Wouldn’t you love to have these incredible machines at your home?

LD: “Bubble Gum Robot Machine”

VG: “Cleaner Machine”

NC: “Construction Everything Machine”

VH:  “Violet”

Continue reading

Tin Can Telephone

By Katee

Have you ever made a tin can telephone?  I saw a couple of soup cans in the recycling and it took me back to a time I got in trouble for cutting a hole in my window screen to string cans between mine and my neighbor’s windows.  Well, we made our own  phone yesterday and the children were all so thrilled to use it. These pictures speak for themselves:

Continue reading

Once Upon a Time…

By Katee

We took a hiatus from storytelling, but we are back in full swing today!  The children tell a story to a teacher while the teacher dictates, and then when we go inside we gather in audience seating and call upon our friends to act out the stories with us.  Some children love this opportunity to express all different feelings, ideas, and silly happenings.


Once upon a time Voldemort was in the forbidden forest with Harry Potter.  They were dueling.  Voldemort said, “Avada Kadavra”. Harry said, “expeliarmus”.  But nothing happened.  Then harry went to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and ate dinner with Ron. Then harry and Ron went to bed.  The next day Harry played a game of quidditch. Harry caught the snitch. The End.


Once upon a time there were 2 tigers and they were running after a gazelle and they caught it.  But then someone named Harry came and they fought and the tigers died. And harry whacked himself in the head and it fell off and he died. The End.

Continue reading

Keeping the Magic

By Katee

1-dsc_0038Today Alisha told a story of magic and happiness at circle time. It’s a story that’s been told many times in many ways of a snow child.  In this version, two women who had always wanted a baby of their own were getting old and decided to build a child out of snow. The dressed it up and kissed it and went to bed.  During the night the snow person turned into a real child.  Alisha told the children around the circle to close their eyes.  All of the children shut their eyes tight and when they opened them, saw the little snow person had been replaced by a doll and was now a real little girl named ‘Frost’. They gasped and giggled and allowed the magic of the story to unfold in front of them.1-dsc_0035

I watched from behind the circle as the children played pretend along with Alisha.  They knew that Alisha was making the switch when their eyes were closed, but they wanted to be a part of it. The children wanted the story to be magical. This made me think about pretend play and the idea of reality being separate from imagination.

When a child takes a bite from a cake that its actually made of sand and their mouth is actually 3 inches away- they are aware that they are not really eating a cake and it’s not really their birthday.  Yet the children want to imagine it and get upset if someone takes their cake out of the oven prematurely.  When a child is making “choo-choo” noises while they are moving a train, they know that the train is not really making that sound.  Yet the children want to imagine that it is real. Continue reading