Oct 19, 2016

WonderWorks: Let's add blocks to the mix

All of the fun from the past two weeks, plus now we add in blocks.

Today's Topic:  PLAY!
Supplies:
all of the supplies from the last two weeks
blocks

Book:
cover art Blocks / Dickson, Irene
*note: this book, on first glance, is a lovely book about play and sharing (which is fine on its own) but the brilliance of the illustrations really becomes apparent when you pay attention to the gutter (or the crease where the right page and left page meet as you're reading through the book) and how the illustrator has chosen to lay out the illustrations across the gutter.  Also, the endpapers are perfect.  And the characters are diverse.  Love this book for so many reasons!
The inspiration for this class (or "what I thought kids might do"): Week three of my experiment with repeat exposure to play materials.  Will they feel overwhelmed by the abundance of options now?  Will they lean towards the familiar or the novel?


What the kids actually did:  water play was still popular (no surprise there!).  This child rigged up a funnel and tube and asked mom to help pour the water.
 It eventually made it all the way through the tubing!
 I don't know if you can see it here, but I was fascinated to see that at the beginning of this tube (right after the funnel) there was a lot of air still in the tubing and the water was just trickling in, but once it hit a certain spot, the water filled the tubing and pressed water out the other end.  Why wasn't the tubing full of water the whole way through? Interesting....
 Here, he is using the bent end of a pop toob as a scoop to get water from the tub into the measuring cup.  Not particularly efficient, but definitely original thinking!
 This kiddo made several reaaaaaaallllly long necklaces:

 And this mom got "locked in handcuffs" by her son.
 Pop toobs also make a lovely belt:
 or can be fed into a tunnel.  These two purple pop tubes at one point became the forelegs of a pretend animal and he counted them ("one two" for the purple pop toobs in his hands as the ends rested on the floor as if they were feet, and "three four" for his own legs.  Then he "walked" all four legs across the room).
 Check out how nicely this bouncy ball fits on the end of a pop toob!
 And how interesting what happens when you put a bouncy ball inside a small watering can and it ends up blocking the hole!
 Funnels make great ball carriers.
 Or funnel carriers.
 This guy remembered some fun he'd had at the Wild Rumpus this summer and put on his cardboard tube "robot costume" again!
One of the regulars had a lot of big energy to work with today.  Here he is running in circles through the room:
 And here, a friend was rolling tubes toward him and he would jump over them (love that I captured him mid-air in this photo!).
 And here's what happens when you line a whole bunch of tubes up and then run behind them, kicking them to watch them all roll together:
"Wait a minute," you say, "I thought this week was about block play?  Where are the blocks?" 
Well, there was a large city that was contstructed:
 This little engineer was very proud of the fact that she figured out how to incorporate round and half-round things into her tower successfully:
 Two tall towers had cars parked on them (garages, perhaps?)
 And this young builder spent a looooong time working with the blocks.


 (she was especially proud of this tower that was taller than herself)
 Here's a "garden" she's building:

Here is our young symmetry-loving engineer's structure:
 And later, with cars:
 What happens when we balance the curved pieces?
One homeschooling family attends and brings the older siblings along and they like to push the boundaries.  This week, they built the biggest "water wall" like tunnel that they could.  I'll let the photos speak for themselves: 





 (in case you're curious, this was about as far as the "water wall" got--the tall stack of tubes on the cart did NOT support the one on the wall and when it fell, she was done playing with that structure for the day.)  Next, she moved on to making a pulley.  She first tried taping the tubing to the wall using painter's tape and when that didn't work, she rigged it up on the end of the block cart instead.  I thought her solution was ingenious.

 Here's a small view of one sister realizing that the ball couldn't go through the tunnel because of the rough edges of the longest tube blocking the ball's path.
I had to bite my own tongue when the kids moved on to dunking the blocks in water (they are borrowed blocks from One City Early Learning Center and I was a bit concerned that wet blocks might get damage in some way, but then I realized that they probably don't stay dry at One City, so I relaxed.)
 The kids even helped clean up the blocks when play was done today!
Would you like a ice cream cone?
This week's Play Stories:
Even the ones that aren't labeled had very specific descriptions.  The kids are always SO excited to talk to me about their Play Stories and tell me all about them! I'm sorry to say that I didn't write the descriptions down right away and now that I'm blogging this a week later, I can't remember exactly what each of the pictures represents, so I'll just let them speak for themselves.


 Love the letter writing on this one!



 

Adult Challenge of the week:  This week, I issued the toughest challenge of all-- the 5-point AnjiPlay challenge. 
1. Eyes open
2. Ears open
3. Heart open
4. Hands down
5. Mouth shut
Everyone acknowledged that it was difficult, but I was impressed by how well everyone did with this challenge this week!

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