Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Dandelion Exploration

Most of this week we're focusing on creating some projects which will become gifts for the grandmas and Big Brother's daycare teachers. (National childcare provider appreciation day is this coming Friday, May 10 and Mother's Day is Sunday, May 12.) I don't want to ruin the surprises, so I'll have to share about those projects this weekend. Until then we're still finding time for some other fun projects and explorations.

This week the grass on the lawn really took off and so did the dandelions. Yesterday Big Brother was having so much fun picking them I decided it would be great to set up an exploration focused on dandelions. I collected a handful of household tools and materials which he could use.

Materials included a plastic mat, safety scissors, a mason jar, a small magnifying box, tweezers, a pencil, paper, a sorting tray, an artist's palette, and black liquid watercolor paint. He added the small terra cotta pot to the pile. I wasn't really sure what he would want to do but wanted to put out a range of options. 

 He went out front to collect dandelions. He found most of them in the front garden beds. 

Right away he was drawn to the scissors and started to cut off the stems. 

 Then he tried cutting the petals off. 

He poured himself some of the liquid watercolor and tried dipping and stamping the flower heads. 

Cutting proved to be the most interesting activity. 

At another point all the cuttings went into the magnifying box, although not for looking, just storing. 

 An ant had journeyed in with the flowers and he decided to try and catch them with the tweezers. Talk about fine motor practice!

At the very end, with my encouragement, he tried dragging the dandelion across the paper to make yellow streaks. 

The exploration probably kept him engaged for about 25 minutes before wandering away to other things. I realized from watching him we should be trying some more things with scissors and also explain the magnifying box a little more. (We'd never used it before, but I put it out to see what he would do with it today.) I really like how he got to be in control of where this project went and the steps he wanted to take with it. 

We'll probably do it again, when the dandelions start to turn to seed, and add in a literature component. I've already got the perfect book in mind . . .

1 comment:

  1. It is so much fun to watch their little minds work.