world song schools younglings have been busy beating the heat over the summer, with plenty of water play, indoor activities, field-trips and cooling snacks and drinks. The infants and toddlers at one location have been exploring their new indoor play structure and gross motor space, especially on very hot/rainy days. Older children also use this space for physical development when needed, they practice climbing, balancing and build strength during their daily physical activity time.
We also began studying the country of South Africa this month!
Some toddlers have been working on their grip by practicing holding different items such as writing implements and such masks. They practice grabbing and pinching and learned the motion of moving hands and fingers along a paper. Children usually learn naturally how to hold writing implements, but practicing early builds a good foundation and sets them up for other practical life exercises such as self serving, putting on shoes or even playing the piano!
The school has been busy learning about South African instruments, tunes and beats, as well as learning songs to perform at our annual Carnecue event! Phil, our music director also showed children jumpy straws for better understanding of timing in music.
With the plethora of animals in the African dessert and grasslands, teachers thought it to be fitting to learn about them. As they explored children discovered the feline animals have similar skin/coats and some animals have hooves while others have paws! This lead them to understand some differences between herbivores vs carnivores along with their habitats. This type of child- lead curriculum with teacher guidance and objectives is what we strive for in all our classes, even the toddlers!
Our South African Ambassador came to visit and showed children many authentic items and told some stories too. He introduced the shakere (a hand shaker with seeds wrapped around it) and other instruments too. Children learned about Nelson Mendala and the changes he brought to South Africa, as well as about the apartheid.
Some preschoolers went on a field trip to the museum of science, as they were learning all about space. They were lucky enough to see the new NASA exhibit and delve further into gravity and intricacies of space travel. They completed their India unit and began studying South Africa; the two favorite books were “Desmond and the very mean word” and “Goal” based on true stories and the historical culture of SA.
They were also introduced to the “Montessori Golden beads” a work which seems so complex at first, but is deceptively simple, especially for children. It helps children understand place value or the Base 10 system, very early on in a concrete way, after which they gradually move to more abstract numbers.