Friday, March 6, 2015

The Collection

A popular activity at the preschool house is searching out and collecting creatures.  This is often done by turning over stumps, looking in piles of leaves, digging in the dirt, or maybe under a large stone.  Over my years of being at Tumbleweed, this has been a child driven activity that is highly contagious and takes on many forms.  Some children simply want to find and hold on to as many slugs as they can.  Some sit quietly and watch the bees that visit our flowers.  They are held in gentle hands, or reminded to do so, then held or observed in different containers.

 Today I noticed the children organizing their collection by putting one creature in each compartment of a small muffin tin.  There was a group of 4 or 5 children, all of which worked together to tip over stumps, search for something to collect, decide where it would go, then look at them in wonder.

This joy in discovery and wonder in our natural world is an important part of our everyday, out door experience.  This activity was created by the children to satisfy their curiosity and interest in the creatures in our outdoor environment, but this time they went a step further to seperate each so they could see the similarities and differences.

Look, this one is the biggest!
One slug has spots and one has stripes!
I need to hold it so I can get a close look!
The beetle is the cutest!

The children's excitement drew in others, some just for a short time, to see what exciting work they had set for themselves.  I too felt such joy and satisfaction watching these children.  It made me wonder:
What's next?  
Will they use this muffin tray again?  
Today they collected 5 creatures.  How many will they find next week?  
Will we always find the same things?  
Where is the best place to find creatures?  
What are their names?  
How else can we categorize them? 

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