The Den Team wanted to share what we have been doing in the Yurt in our group activity sessions this week. Our activities have been great examples of just how much learning comes from having fun!
We have been talking about shapes, learning their names and identifying them in our environment. The Yurt is a fantastic space in which to do this, as there are so many shapes to discover; circular windows in the roof and sides, diamond shapes in the wooden wall trellis, rectangular tables and door, semi-circular pieces of wood on the table, and oval leaves. We also talked about the shapes on the mats we sit on, learning their names and finding brilliant ways to describe unfamiliar shapes (one child called a hexagon "a circle with sides!") and then we discussed who had the same shapes on their mats and who had different ones. We also played a game where we ran around the circle of mats, and they all tried to squeeze onto the correct shape when someone shouted "circle!..triangle!..square!"
The children demonstrated wonderful creativity and imagination when they took it in turns to describe what some of our different shaped objects could become. We passed pine cones, pieces of wood and leaves around, and thought of some brilliant ideas; a semi-circular piece of wood, for example, became a boat, a hat, a steering wheel and a bouncy castle!!
One group of children collected sticks from the paddock and we laid them in a long line in the Yurt. The children then followed instructions to pick up big, little, long, short, pointy, smooth, tiny, enormous or round sticks. Lots of children also enjoyed our 'leaf challenge,' where we placed sets of four leaves on the floor, and the children identified the one they thought was different from the rest, using size or shape criteria. We also guessed how many leaves were in a pile, and then checked by counting them, and some children chose to make great leaf patterns with all the different shapes!
It was great to see the children participating in all the challenges so enthusiastically! As with all our other activities, the children feel they are having fun and playing games (and are delighted when we tell them how clever we think they are!), but the amount of mathematical knowledge, understanding, problem-solving and reasoning achieved by all the Den children this week from these activities has been truly spectacular!