Preschool Playtime: Spring Has Sprung! (March 21, 2012)
Meets Wednesday Mornings from 9:15-10AM
Each session of Preschool Playtime has a fun theme which distracts the children enough to not realize all the hard work they are accomplishing with their large muscle, fine motor, and sensory work. Today, our theme was Spring Has Sprung!
Today the children and I celebrated springtime! We discussed the changes that occur during the springtime such as flowers beginning to grow, grass turning green and leaves starting to bud. After a short story about a bulb hiding in the winter than coming out in the spring, the children transitioned to the gym.
In the gym the children carried bulbs (weighted balls) and planted them in the dirt (soft mats). The children carried their bulbs under a bridge using good body awareness, over the rainbow bridge, practicing balance and leg coordination and crawled through a tunnel, utilizing body awareness and arm and leg coordination as they crawled and pushed their bulb.
Once their bulbs were planted, the children pretended to be jumping beans. They climbed onto the mats and held onto a trapeze using their arm and hand strength to hold their body off of the surface. The children held on as long as they could, than dropped into a fluffy pile of mats.
On different swings, the children collected butterflies using a magnetic rod and picked flowers with their hands. This task provided the children with vestibular input (swinging) and required the children to work on postural control and strength as they worked to maintain an upright position while swinging. Other children lay on their stomach on the swing or a bolster, working their back and neck muscles, also important for postural control. The children who used the magnetic rod were encouraged to integrate their bilateral hands by using one hand to catch the butterfly with the magnetic rod, and the other hand to take the butterfly off the magnet and place it in a bucket.
After the children had picked the flowers, they placed them in a flower pot by sticking the stem of the flower through Styrofoam. This required fine motor strength and coordination as the children used a pincer grasp to hold onto the stem and push it through the Styrofoam.
At the table the children made a spring picture. The children used their gross grasp strength to hold onto a short (swimming pool) noodle to make a flower imprint on their paper. The children practiced using scissors to snip small pieces of paper, making leaves for a tree. Using scissors requires fine motor coordination and hand strength to pull the scissors open and closed. Using a pincer grasp, the children picked up the small pieces of paper and glued them onto the branches of a tree.
After celebrating springtime, the children returned home to enjoy the warm weather that springtime has to offer!