Over the past few months, we have heard some great stories from our Early Childhood Educators and our Today’s Family parents about how they’re keeping busy while we are all social distancing. We’ve been glad to see these stories pop up on our Facebook feeds and other social media. Everyone has been keeping busy, so today we wanted to look back at another centre story where our children learned about another creature that’s always busy.
With spring having fully sprung, some of our Early Childhood Educators noticed a group of toddlers at our Greendale Centre paying attention to a line of industrious ants making their way across the playground. They decided to stoke that interest the next day, after doing a bit of planning. The ECEs showed the children pictures of anthills and explained that this is where ants live. “Do you have a home?” they asked. “These hills are homes for ants.”
The ECEs then guided the toddlers through their activity. Together, everyone mixed sand and some white glue to make their own ant hills. They moulded the concoction into the shape of the ant hills and then left it to dry. Some of the children also added holes to the top of their ant hills, because they had noticed a hole in the pictures. “That’s where the ants go into their homes,” explained the ECEs.
But they were not done with their activity yet. “I think our ant hills are missing something,” they said. “What are we missing?” With a little coaching, the toddlers all answered “Ants!” Together, everyone looked around the classroom for things that they could turn into ants. After the children had found some clay and pipe cleaners, the ECEs showed them how to form the clay into the shape of the bodies and bend the pipe cleaners to make legs.
Some children put the ants all over the hill, while others placed their ants into a straight line down the hill, mimicking the ants that they had seen outside the day before. This is a great example of making observations and then applying that knowledge to a different situation, an incredibly important step in early childhood development.