Saturday, February 4, 2017

Seasons Felt Play

When learning about a topic, it's always fun to see where the children lead you ... they have great ideas and think out of the box!

To study the seasons, trees are a great focus. Start off learning all about trees ... talking, observing, looking all around your neighborhood, and then talking some more. Then, take out some felt and start cutting.

Make a felt background and hang it somewhere, at kiddo level, with velcro dots ... we used the back of a rolling organizer. Then, make a tree - or two! Discuss shapes and even make some sketches of what it might look like - great for conversation and problem solving. Trace the shapes on some brown felt pieces - even scraps would work - and begin to cut and form your trees. Cutting through felt offers a little more resistance than paper, so little friends may benefit from the cutting practice to strengthen those muscles.

Then, have children observe some branches and see that they are many different shapes. Start picking through the scraps that are left to find "branches." They come in all shapes and sizes! Pretty soon, your  friends will be asking about leaves ... one thing always leads to another!

As you cut, have the children take turns sticking the felt pieces up on the background, and get ready to be amazed at all the different ways the trees can be formed. Your kiddos will make lots of scientific observations and start to wonder about other trees - maybe the Christmas tree variety ... so you'll have to make those, too!

Let your children direct the action in a project like this! It gives them the power to ask questions, make suggestions, and there is no wrong way to do it! It's exciting for the littlest of friends, who cannot always make their drawings look like they want to - with this, they can make a representation of something that looks more accurate and real :)

We talked about all the seasons and they had ideas for each. As we go on, we will add to our felt set and revisit it for each turn in the weather - learning as we go!

Have fun!

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