Trains, Seed Planting, and Block Play...
Trains turned out to be the toy of choice this morning after our morning routine. We practiced our manners while trains chugged along the tracks. We used phrases like"excuse me, please" or "could I please come through" when another train was in our way. The littles worked on using the magnets to attach one train car to another.
We also practiced our "chugga chugga" and "toot toot!" noises, which brought lots of smiles.
After our snack time, we did our second gardening activity for the month. This time, we used tiny terra cotta pots to plant herb seeds. The children helped place the pots in water to moisten them, and while they soaked, we looked at the seed packets. We talked about what the pictures on the packages showed us. Some of our herbs will have purple flowers (lavender and chives) while others will have interesting leaves (sage and cilantro). We talked about what the seeds will need to turn into plants, and we decided that they will need sun and water just like the bulbs, but since they were so tiny and fall into the water, they would need soil to grow as well. Interesting reasoning!
Once the pots were ready, we used a spoon to scoop seed starting mix. Some of the littles wanted to use their hands, but we decided that a spoon was a better, less messy tool for the job.
When the pots were filled about three quarters of the way with soil, we added the tiny seeds. We noted the color and shape of the seeds. Some were brown and some were black; some were shaped like a tear and others were round or cylindrical.
We used just our fingertips to spinkle one or two seeds at a time.
Once the seeds were all planted, I showed the children how to sprinkle the pots with small drops of water to moisten the soil then we moved them to a sunny windowsill in the kitchen. The children and I can't wait to find out if our seeds will grow, and we should find out in about two weeks! We'll have to work together daily to make sure the seeds are well taken care of.
Even the littles got in on the digging and planting action!
I let the littles take a few moments at the end of the seed planting acivity to investigate the seed starting mix. As they played with it, I talked to them about how the mix was grainy, light, moist, and dark-colored. It was a lovely sensory experience for the littles- they could even smell the soil. Needless to say, I had lots of washing up at the end of the activity!
We had just enough time to fit in a great block play session before it was time for naps. I encouraged the big kids to make things that could do a job. One of the children built a cash register while the other built a "chopper" that "chops down the branches." The littles were focused on taking the large legos apart, so I built lots of towers for them to disassemble.
In the afternoon, we read some nursery rhymes and an Usbourne fact book about trees. There were some nice diagrams of the parts of a tree, so we talked about the similarities between trees and other smaller plants.
See you on Monday!