Thursday, 3 August 2017

Patterns and Direction

Having a large open studio space in our learning environment means we do a lot of dancing and moving! Gross motor skills are an important part of early childhood development. This is how we learn about personal space and develop the strength and coordination to effectively perform skills such as: walking, running, jumping, and climbing stairs.

Here's a provocation that was set up to help us explore patterns of movement, pathways, and direction.

Before the children arrived for the day I laid tape on the floor in a pattern of lines. (Luckily, we have a mezzanine above our studio room so I can take overhead pictures!) The children came into the room and immediately began exploring the lines. I initially gave them no instructions and let them discover! I observed as the children started walking along the lines, forming a train and following the pattern on the floor. They quickly learned they had a problem when two children went opposite directions on the path. There was great problem solving happening as they figured out how they would all move along the lines without bumping into one another.

To expand on their learning, I added frog cut-outs along the lines and challenged them to continue moving along the lines without stepping on any frogs. They decided that they could jump over them! This expanded the gross motor skill development the children were getting from this activity. Next thing I knew we were frogs jumping along the lines and creating a pattern of movement, all going the same direction!

Happy Learning!

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