Monday, August 20, 2018

Picnic & Play: Gecko's Complaint

I've been continuing to rework my Circle Time and see how much movement I want to put in it. I don't want it to be too much, yet every time I add more they absorb it and seem to want even more! I also rearranged the order of things slightly, after rereading the chapter in Nell Smyth's The Breathing Circle: Learning Through the Movement of the Natural Breath where she lays out a sample early childhood parent/child playgroup schedule. She suggests doing the wrapping games after you've done all of the big movement activities and before you get into the finger plays. This helps bring the child back into himself. So here's the newest version of what I've been trying out:

The four-year-old feedback I got on this was that there were too many finger plays and they wanted more big movement verses.

Friday, August 17

    The highlight of the indoor free play time today was my vintage three hole punch. Simply place a three hole punch on a tray with a pile of colored construction paper and let the kids go to town punching, picking up the little holes with their fingers (great fine motor), and sweeping up the holes from the floor with a broom and dust pan. After Circle Time we did a nature walk to look for grasshoppers and crickets, and then had a glorious time playing in the mud pit!

Saturday, August 18

    Today two of Zac's older sisters went to help with invasive plant removal at a nearby hiking trail while he and I went to the farmer's market. We got green beans, bell peppers, peaches, and goat cheese with herbes d'Provence. Yum! Then we went to pick up the third sister from cross country practice and ended up going out to breakfast with the whole team! I've never been the lone adult with 20 high school boys and girls at an IHOP before. It's an interesting experience...

Sunday, August 19

Monday, August 20

    We had a sweet and simple morning (although with the excitement of Marsha Griffin stopping by as she canvassed the neighborhood). We started with Circle Time, using the outline above but with a few modifications. I added another large movement verse before "The Door's Shut Tight" ("Hippo Song" from page 71 of The Breathing Circle), took out two finger plays ("Rocks to Stones" and "Ten Little Grasshoppers"), and added a new finger play at the end which went along with our topic ("Bennie the Beetle" from page 20 of Move Over, Mother Goose: Finger Plays, Action Verses and Funny Rhymes).

    Even after all this Zac still declared, "I want more movements!"

    Our story was "Gecko's Complaint" from page 251 of Tell Me a Story. Zac listened intently. I do think that all of that movement made it possible for him to be really still later. Since this story has a dung beetle in it, we looked at a few pictures of dung beetles in The Book of Beetles: A Life-Size Guide to Six Hundred of Nature's Gems afterwards. The story of Gecko's Complaint is from Bali, and there weren't any Indonesian dung beetles in the book, but there were several to look at and the Sacred Scarab Beetle was a good tie-in for Becca to the Ancient Egypt exhibit from yesterday. Then it was on to free play for the rest of the morning!

    • Eucranium arachnoides, p.204
    • Heliocopris gigas, p.205
    • Pachylomera femoralis, p.206
    • Proagoderus rangifer, p.207
    • Sacred Scarab Beetle, Scarabeus sacer, p.208
    • Sulcophaneus imperator, p.209

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