This week in the Den we have been very busy – our activities have focussed on investigating how we process information, and we have also been exploring how we can use our imagination and manage our emotions!
In our group work sessions we used puppets to help us play “Simon Says”. My group used Izzy the Wolf to give the children the instructions for the game – using a wolf puppet with a wolf voice really seemed to help the children focus and concentrate on what they had to do, and after 3 or 4 repetitions, lots of children “got” the game! We also used two doll puppets to have conversations with the children, it was wonderful to see the children talking to the puppets and asking them questions.
Before you all start thinking I’m a brilliant ventriloquist and book me for your children’s parties, I have to disappoint you and tell you I’m not! Our children’s ability to believe that pigs can fly/puppets are real/the rocket I have described which has landed in the Den is really there means that if an adult supplies a few “scaffolds” (in this case a different voice and movement) the children will do all the rest! Watching children making objects come to life or visualising something that isn’t really there purely through their imagination is what I love most about this job and why I can never imagine doing anything else!!
We have also introduced an “Emotion Den” into Pre-School this week! This is a quiet enclosed space where children can play or go to have some time away from the activity of the Den, which is always busy and quite loud! However, the Emotion Den is primarily a tool to help children manage their emotions. We do a lot of emotion coaching with the children here, encouraging them to talk about their feelings and devise solutions to problems that may occur, and The Emotion Den is a place where children can go when they are feeling sad, cross etc, so they can have time to calm themselves down, come out feeling positive and happy and address the issue that caused the feeling if necessary. We have talked a lot to the children about the Emotion Den and one of our puppets has modelled how it can be used! (Photo)
We have also been making a Den Story Book which is amazing!! More about that very soon…