October Activities, Part 2: Fall Activities for children

By October 17, 2019Parkland Players
fall activities

Part 2. This week we are sharing some more activities for the month of October. These four activities are all a good opportunity to practice fine motor and sensory skills in the early years. For those that don’t already know, development of fine motor skills involves improvements in the control of the small muscles in the hand associated with holding writing implements and implementing precise movements. Sensory skills are those associated with the five senses. In the early years, children learn primarily through engaging these sensory systems.

The October activities are beneficial for children because, like the Reggio Emilia approach (which is practiced at Parkland Players) they focus on the process rather than the final product, making it so that activities are open-ended and children can experience them at their own rate and in their own ways. This allows for children to set the pace of their own development and get the most out of their educational experiences.

This is Part 2 of our Fall Activities, to see Part 1, please click here.

Fire Breathing Dragon (Pre/GD)

Developmental Goal/Activity Objective:

To practice artistic and creative skills.

Materials Needed:

  1. Tissue paper
  2. Toilet paper rolls
  3. Pom poms
  4. Googly eyes
  5. Paint
  6. Glue

Procedures/Strategies: (how to present activity and what children will do)

  1. First have children paint their toilet paper roll their desired colour. Let this dry.
  2. Once dry children can cut red, orange, and yellow tissue paper into long strips.
  3. They should then glue two googly eyes to two large pom poms, then glue these pom poms beside each other with the eyes facing the longer portion of the tube. They can glue two smaller pom poms farther in front of these eyes to make the nostrils.
  4. Using a glue stick, children can attach the strips of tissue paper inside their toilet paper tube to make the fire.
  5. Once all paint and glue is dried completely, children can blow on the opposite end of the dragon and see the tissue paper fly around like flames.

Guidance and Safety Considerations

Make sure everything is dry before children put their mouths to create the moving flame effect.
Note: in the source below they use construction paper instead of paint. This is also an option but might be harder for children to do on their own than just painting the tube.

Video

 

Source: Paper Roll Dragon Craft and Bitaa

Fairy Dust Sensory Pre-Writing (Pre/GD)

Developmental Goal/Activity Objective:

To practice pre-writing skills, letter recognition and sensory experience.

Materials Needed:

  1. Fine table salt
  2. Food colouring
  3. Glitter
  4. Shallow tray
  5. Gold card (optional)
  6. Fairy themed props (wands, plastic jewellery, fairy figurines, etc.)
  7. Paint brush

Procedures/Strategies: (how to present activity and what children will do)

  1. First, make your fairy dust by mixing fine table salt with a little bit of pink food colouring (or whatever colour you think is appropriate for fairy dust). Put the salt out to dry on a cookie tray. Once dry, mix some glitter into the coloured salt.
  2. Now for the sensory tray. Place gold cardstock or paper on the bottom of the tray if you would like (this is optional and just for visual effect).
  3. Pour your fairy dust into the tray, just enough to coat the bottom evenly without showing through but not too much that it is too deep for children to work with.
  4. Put some props in your tray as well for visual effect.
  5. Next have children practice their writing skills using their fingers or a paint brush.
    Instruct them of letters to write in the fairy dust. Tell them to write their name, give them patterns or shapes to practice.

Video

 

Source: Sensory Writing in Fairy Dust and Bitaa

Leaves Painting Negative Space (OSC/Pre/GD/IT)

Developmental Goal/Activity Objective:

To practice different creative art methods.

Materials Needed:

  1. Paint
  2. Leaves
  3. Paper
  4. Tape

Procedures/Strategies: (how to present activity and what children will do)

  1. First, collect some leaves, they can be fake or real.
  2. Tape these onto your paper with tape loops. Make sure to get as much of the edges down as possible. Let children place the leaves where ever they like during this step.
  3. Paint the paper with fall colours.
  4. Let dry and then remove the leaves carefully to reveal cool leaf-shaped negative spaces.

Guidance and Safety Considerations

Paint is messy, take necessary precaution.

Video

 

Source: Fall leaf paintiing and Bitaa

Self-inflating Ghosts (Pre/GD/OSC)

Developmental Goal/Activity Objective:

To practice inquiry and cause and effect relationship thinking.

Materials Needed:

  1. Water bottle (plastic)
  2. Balloons
  3. Sharpie
  4. Vinegar
  5. Baking soda

Procedures/Strategies: (how to present activity and what children will do)

  1. Draw a ghost face on your balloon and fill it with 1 tablespoon of baking soda.
  2. Fill the water bottle with approximately ½ a cup of vinegar.
  3. Attach the balloon to the top of the water bottle so that the elastic creates a seal and the baking soda falls into the water bottle.
  4. Watch the balloon inflate. Have children discuss what reaction they think occurred and how this caused the balloon to fill with air. (hint: the two chemicals create carbon dioxide which fills the balloon).

Guidance and Safety Considerations

Make sure you have children participate in the above steps.

Video

Source: Self-inflating Ghosts and Bitaa

Bitaa Collaboration with Parkland Players

Download the Bitaa PDF here.

What is Bitaa?

Bitaa is an app designed to assist child care providers, early childhood educators, and parents with program and activity planning. The app is created based on the idea that children grow best when they can direct their own learning, and therefore most of the activities in this resource are simple and open-ended. Bitaa makes it so that educators, parents, and most importantly, children, can take the ideas or activities and put their own spin on it. Bitaa is also a compilation for educational ideas as it pulls ideas, and activities from a variety of sources, making it a hub for the exchange of educational information.

Why the Bitaa initiative?

In 2016 Parkland Players endeavoured to fill a gap in Early Childhood Education program planning. Teachers at our centre have always worked extremely hard to plan daily activities, following children’s interest and educational goals. However, in order to support our educators in their lesson planning, the administration at the centre decided to create a resource that educators could refer to throughout the school year for those moments when they were uncertain of what themes to explore next, or how to expand on concepts, or even where to start in a new unit. And so, Parkland Players began compiling activities from a variety of sources and organizing them into themes. This new compilation of information, activities, and resources would later become Bitaa!

How does this origin story make Bitaa special?

Although Bitaa is a separate entity, the collaboration between Bitaa and the educators at Parkland Players is ongoing. The educators and administration at Parkland Players continue to contribute, ideas and feedback to Bitaa, as well as implement the activities in their daily educational method. This gives Bitaa a number of advantages in terms of the validity of the resource. First of all, it helps Bitaa to keep a fresh perspective. Bitaa is continually changing and being updated to better fit the needs of children and their development based on the work of teachers at Parkland Players. In this way, Bitaa is frequently being tested and improved through its proximity to a thriving childcare centre. Secondly, implicitly embedded in the resource are decades of experience from Early Childhood Educators who give their thoughts, approaches, and personalities to the resource. Lastly, collaboration with Parkland Players, a Reggio Emilia inspired centre, means that this resource is also focused on the fundamentals of the Reggio Emilia Approach. Activities are inquiry-based, flexible, and open-ended so that children across a variety of age groups can get the most out of each learning opportunity regardless of their individual developmental location. Essentially, Bitaa continues to support the educators at Parkland Players to be the best they can, and reciprocally, the educators at Parkland Players challenge Bitaa to continue to grow and improve its ability to contribute in meaningful ways to Early Childhood Education.