Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Playgroup: Self and Others

This past week at playgroup we continued talking about the concept of self, and further visited the idea of self in reference to others. A great way to help kids visualize this is a visual comparison of size, which helps with cognitive development.

Here's how we demonstrated it:

The story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears has many comparisons of size. The papa bear, mama bear, and baby bear are all varying heights and sizes, and so are their belongings! We handed out the three pictures of the bears (pictured above) and had the children decide which one was the papa bear, mama bear, and baby bear. We did that at each part including three different sized objects, asking which belonged to who every time. The children had to use each other's papers as references in order to know which item belonged to who!

We continued to show comparisons of size by measuring each of the children. First we had them guess who was tallest, and then we measured. They loved having a number that represented their height!

For our treat, we had the children decide between two different shaped fruit roll up. We asked them if they wanted the long, skinny kind, or the short, square ones. It may have influenced the kids that we had talked about height earlier, because they all chose the tall version!

We connected this lesson to our last lesson by standing in two lines and kicking this colored ball back and forth, saying our favorite color on the ball when we kicked it. We talked about how favorites can be different just as all of us look different from each other. It was a good chance for kids to stretch their muscles, get some wiggles out, and enjoy some physical activity. Children can learn at a young age that an active lifestyle can be fun!

For our main activity, we traced all the kids on the non-pattern side of wrapping paper. They thought it was the greatest thing ever, and enjoyed lying on the paper to be traced, as well as seeing the finished product. They used their fine motor skills to decorate 'themselves' with crayons and markers.

 The empty wrapping paper rolls also made for a fun activity!

 The kids loved the idea of a fruit roll up that was nearly as tall as them!

 And it turns out long fruit roll ups are fun to twirl. Who knew!

The kids had a fun time learning about sizes and differences, as well as getting up and being active. The boys were anxious to grow up big and tall like their daddy's, and it was a good chance to tell them about the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Parents who model these behaviors for their young kids can help them adapt a lasting active lifestyle that will serve them well in an increasingly sedentary society.

These activities can easily be done at home without much planning! Put that leftover Christmas wrapping paper to good use, get the measuring tape out of the tool box, print some different sized bears for telling the story of Goldilocks, and find a colored ball or a bean bag lying around the house. The only thing you may not have is the fruit roll ups!

Thanks for stopping by! Our next playgroup will focus on self and family!

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