Keeping children engaged in tasks for longer than 10 minutes, can seem like an impossible feat especially if the children are aged between 2 and 5 years old. In this latest blog I look at 3 great stations that parents and educators can set up that are inexpensive, quick and do not require a whole lot of thought.
These stations focus on pre literacy and numeracy concepts in a play setting. Children learn new concepts through investigation, trial and error and by just experimenting. I have used all 3 of these stations at my home with my 2 and 4 year old and they continue to love it each time I set it up. What a 2 year old will learn from the station will be different from what the 4 year old will learn. It is a perfect activity that allows a variety of age groups to work at the same task.
Station 1 : Water Pouring Station
Children will learn about quantities (half full, empty, full, overflowing), the technique of pouring, how containers hold different amounts of liquids and how we can use tools, like funnels to assist in pouring liquids from one container to the next. As a parent or educator it is important for the child to lead this play. You can assist with asking them questions or guiding them to try different things. It is important for the adult to model great sentences when playing with the child in order for the child to build their own vocabulary and experiment by using these new words in their own sentences. For example - “I filled the container all the way to the top”, “This container holds more water than that container”
What you need for this station: A variety of containers (different shapes and sizes), measuring cups, water (can be coloured), medicine droppers, funnels.
Station 2 : Scooping Station
This station continues developing the concept of space by using dry ingredients. Children will learn about the capacity of different containers and the technique of scooping. This station will also develop their sensory skills by incorporating a variety of dry ingredients that have different textures. As with the station above, allow the child to lead, but the adult can point out things to the child or simply play next to them so they can observe what the adult is doing.
What you need for this station: dry ingredients (rice, flour, dried peas/corn kernels, sugar, pasta, cereal, icing sugar, salt etc), variety of containers, different size scoops (washing powder scoop, measuring cup, measuring spoons)
Station 3 : Gardening Station
This station is a very messy station but well worth it for a child’s development. You could give the child a variety of gardening tools, soil, seeds, pots, plants and vegetables to experiment with. This is a great time to share the lifecycle of a plant with your child. This station may even develop into a herb or vegetable garden. The possibilities are endless.
I hope these 3 stations have given you some inspiration to set up one in your classroom or home. Next week we will focus on another 3 stations that aim to foster pre literacy and pre numeracy skills. If you found this blog to be helpful please share to spread the word about the exciting things happening at CREATING A LEARNING ENVIRONMENT.
Until next time …
Kelly PisaniClick here to email this post to yourself or a friend