Creating our own sculptures from cardboard boxes has kept us busy in the Moonbeam Room. We re-purposed recyclable materials and added in things we found while creating. First, we asked our wonderful Moonbeam families to send us in boxes from home. Day by day the collection of boxes grew. When we finally reached the point where every inch of our windowsill was covered in boxes and almost all the view outside was gone, we were ready to start building.
Next, each child chose his / her boxes and glued them together to create their architectural designs. The Moonbeam Teachers encouraged the children as they explored with size and dimension, angles, and balance. Asking open-ended questions such as “What if….?” “Where…?” and “What happened….?” guided the children to take their creations to a whole new level.
While we waited patiently for our buildings to dry we enjoyed learning about winter, ice skating on our in-door classroom ice skating rink, and engaging in many math related games. Sorting by color, stacking and balancing ladders, counting, creating with gears and developing patterns kept us quite entertained!
Finally, our boxes were ready to be painted. The children used paintbrushes and sponges to paint the first coat on their sculptures. Some sculptures were so tall that the children had to put them on the floor to paint them, or stand on a chair to reach the top.
Before we could decorate, we had to let them dry again! While we waited we clapped and stomped out polar bear rhymes, sang “I’m a Little Snow Man,” watched live owls on our webcam, drew on our easels and played with play dough and puzzles.
Decorating our buildings involved more glue and adding lots of fun pieces such as pompoms, recycled caps, buttons and pasta shapes. When we’d finished our masterpiece buildings, it was time to take a photo of each proud artist with their creation and to interview them about their project. After proudly displaying the creation in the classroom the children happily took their projects home.
STEM ~ Appreciating the Process
Designing and building our structures was a wonderful activity for the children. Exploring with construction concepts and assembling boxes in 3 dimensions supports our young engineers’ development of technology and math skills in hands-on ways .
It was interesting to observe the children to see what sparked their interests. Some wanted to use all the biggest boxes that they could find. Others experimented with balancing boxes and seeing how tall they could make their constructions before deciding on a design. Exploring the horizontal plane and figuring out how to attach boxes building sideways was more exciting for others.
The children had to figure out how to make them stand up and respond to what happens when they try to put another box on top of the tube! This is a fun, hands-on way of learning positioning concepts such as on top, behind, next to and inside.
Language skills are a very important part of our Moonbeam curriculum. Our construction and design project gave us plenty to talk about. We shared ideas about what we were building and the children got to express their creative ideas during the “Artist Interview.” We asked the children to describe what they built which allowed the children to use imaginative language and then asked them to describe how they built it which helped the children to develop descriptive language.
Looking forward to more February Fun!
Friendship week is coming up! The Moonbeam children will begin the celebration by making friendship cards for each of their school friends. Developing our friendship skills will be a focus as we practice being good friends by working together, cooperating to achieve common goals, and by listening and sharing ideas. We will continue to explore and learn about shapes through books and projects. Of course we’ll enjoy lots of free play and gross motor games and activities too! To round it all off we will start our first session of Tumbling Class.