So, how ’bout this weather we’ve been having, eh?!
It seems like we’ve been getting bigger and bigger rain storms every summer, and as we get further and further into August, the rain seems to be getting heavier and heavier.
Here at Today’s Family, we are big believers in the Emergent Curriculum. If you’re new to our blog, it’s a term you might not have heard before. Essentially, the Emergent Curriculum is interest-based learning – our Early Childhood Educators notice what our children seem to be interested in, and then they build lessons and learning opportunities around that.
When it comes to summer, nothing captures the attention of children quite like a good rain storm.
For one thing, there’s the water! And the puddles! All very ‘jumpable’ and ‘splashable’ (as long as everyone is wearing their jackets and rubber boots, and they take care not to splash their friends).
For another, it’s hard not to notice the rain when it is keeping you inside the classroom, when every bone in your little body is screaming “I WANT TO GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY!”
Miss Shaunna, one of our toddler ECEs, turned one such indoor recess into a great learning opportunity. “What can you tell me about the rain?” she asked the children.
The answers came back fat and furious: rain is wet! Rain is blue! Rain comes from clouds! This is an important part of the Emergent Curriculum process: figuring out what the children already know so we can share new information with them.
There’s another important part to asking those questions: the children are actually sharing information with each other. In essence, they are teaching each other about the rain, without the ECEs needing to share that information themselves.
Of course, once the information is collected, you have to actually do something with it. Miss Shaunna and the children together decided that they wanted to make paintings of the rain. Actually, the children wanted to go outside and splash around, but Miss Shaunna said “no, we don’t want to get soaked.” Painting was the very good second choice.
So, Miss Shaunna brought out blue paper and blue paint and dotted paint sponges, and the children came to the art table and painted the rain. Some painted just a little rain: just a few blue dots. Others painted a veritable deluge of water, covering the page with rain drops!
At the end of the day, the children stayed warm and dry, and learned more about the rain. We call that a splashing success!