And I’m jumping back into blogging with both feet, by co-hosting an “outdoor play party” here on my blog with four other fabulous, fellow bloggers. I’m excited to join my partners in outdoor play, Kierna from Learning for Life, Jen from Kitchen Counter Chronicles, Karen from Flights of Whimsy and Rebekah from The Golden Gleam, to promote the importance and the benefits of playing in the great outdoors, and I hope you’ll join us too, by linking up any outdoor play posts that you’d like to share! Hiking, playing, crafting, creating – if you’ve taken it outside, link it up! We’d love to see it!
Ok! Down to business!
We’ve been easing our way back into the swing of things here, settling into our routine and getting to know each other (half of last year’s Hooligans have ventured off to school and several new little ones have come on board).
Aside from lunches and naps we’ve been outside from drop off to pick up, taking advantage of our gorgeous fall weather, hiking around the neighbourhood, showing our new friends all of our favourite hot-spots, and introducing them to all of the treasures in our own backyard: the pond, the playhouse, the sandbox, Nan’s hill and the jungle.
We’ve had several activities set up in the back-yard: water-bins and cloud-dough which you’ve seen before, but we made something entirely new last week and I want to share them with you: BOTTLE BABIES.
Bottle Babies were introduced to me by Lesley from Takoma Park Cooperative Nursery School. Inexpensive, easy and fun to make, bottle babies are a wonderful, open-ended addition to any play-area, providing countless opportunities for creative and imaginative play.
I highly recommend reading Lesley’s post titled MOVEABLE FEAST: The Beauty of Loose Parts. In it, Lesley describes the benefits of providing open-ended materials for children to play with, and how these loose parts spark a child’s imagination in ways that factory-manufactured toys cannot.
You’ll also want to visit Lesley’s gallery of photos to see dozens of examples of children at play with various open-ended objects at Takoma Park. Take the time to click through the photos to see the looks of determination on the childrens’ faces as they construct, create, collaborate and problem solve when playing with the loose parts in the classroom and in the playground. Lesley’s post and her photos can help us to better understand how essential this kind of play is for young children.
NOW! On to our bottle babies!
Because another blogging friend of mine recently made her bottle babies and wrote a wonderful post about them, I’m going to send you to her for the details. Cathy from Pre-School Play will tell you what the overall purpose and benefits of the bottle baby are and what the name “bottle baby” is meant to suggest to a child.
Meanwhile, I’m going to take the easy road here, and just share the photos of the Hooligans making and playing with ours.
I set out an assortment of items that would sink and float: plastic beads, glass beads, water beads, corks and strips of coloured plastic. **I should mention that we added the baby oil to one bottle, and it didn’t really do much, other than make the inside of the bottle look greasy, so I personally wouldn’t bother with it again**
Cups and funnels make filling the bottles fun, and they’re great for developing hand/eye co-ordination. Adding food colouring can provide a lesson in colour mixing, and fine motor skills are tested when the children fill their bottles with their collection of small objects.