The new favorite game with cohort 6 highlights our love of loose parts and open ended materials. Often, the provocations I set out lead to new ways of using materials. This time, the children have shown me their ability, skill and focus.
H created a new game, that has caught on like wildfire in the classroom. There is large, deep wooden bowl that we have used in many ways. Sometimes it is a great boost up for children starting to be mobile, other times large quantities of soup have been made by toddlers. Now it is the home for a collection of crocheted balls.
Fingers grasp the edge of the bowl, then go inside. A ball is discovered! H pulls first one out, then another. Bangs the balls together, watching his hands closely, then one ball is returned to the bowl. His whole body is engaged in this repeated process, the ball moving from the bowl to his hand then two hands together, and finally returning to the bowl. This process is watched my his friends an copied in their own way. Sometimes the bowl, when leaned upon, tips up and the children find it over their head! The balls might roll out, or be difficult to grasp inside the bowl. The balls are passed to friends, or reached for while maneuvering them.
So many opportunities for hand eye coordination, exploration of depth perception, experiencing the textures of things, and beginnings of observation skills. But the most exciting thing for me is that this game has occurred from their interests, using loose parts and open ended materials and may be built and extended in many ways. Stay tuned for more ins and outs. Perhaps it will include ice cubes next time, or silks, wood chips, glass jars, grapes, or any endless list of parts.