Loose parts like pipes, tubes, tires, balls of any kind, all are priceless tools for never ending play in a preschool.
Children love to create the most unusual type of connections between the objects and explore their physical and imaginative limits.
Blindfolded taste challenge. Is it a pear, an apple or a tangerine?
Why use flashcards when we can have some real fresh fruit that we can touch smell and taste?
(by Claire Hadjinikolaou, English teacher in Athens school)
Toddlers class (2-3 y.o.) is usually the point in time for children to start experimenting physically. They feel strong now and ready to take risks.
Here, risky play gets into the picture. Of course, we do not encourage children in school to jump out of the windows! But, on the other hand, we do not either overprotect them when seem ready and confident to take the extra mile…
Watch Dimitris in the following video, to consciously explore how it feels to fell!
(video by Jenny Diamantopoulou, teacher in toddlers’ class in Athens)
In a play-based preschool, babies’ class runs on a continuous providing of sensory-type real life stimuli, assisting this way children to discover the world through their senses, while playing.
This philosophy does not change even during party events! So, in Dorothy Snot, the annual ritual of Christmas Party for babies class (1-2 y.o), always goes as follows:
- It is held in school, while other classes party in some kind of large theaters. Babies need a stable and familiar environment
- It involves extensive parents’ participation, to boost the enthusiasm of the children and to ensure whole family celebrates kids’ first Christmas party ever!
- It is based on a set of interactive play activities, connected to children recent school experiences, which lead to a festive ending (i.e. decorating our Christmas tree)
- It utilizes life-derived loose parts and lots of sensory play
So, please click on the following set of photos to get an idea of 2016 babies’ class Christmas party in Dorothy Snot preschool!
Suddenly, large and small boxes appeared in toddlers’ classroom. What could we do with them?
We turned them into sofas, exactly like in the stories we read. We imagined sailing in the sea and boxes were transformed into boats!
We played “hide and seek” and we found unique ways to hide ourselves inside the boxes. We had fun, we played and we learned! We got familiar with special notions such us “in and out”. We practiced our gross and our fine motor skills.
Last but not least, we learned to share and to wait for our turn! We became more sociable and friendly. We came closer and bonded more!
(by Evangelia Nteka, teacher in toddlers’ class in Athens)
Some times it takes just a balloon to keeps babies happy. Just hang it from the roof and let them play with it!
(by Anastasia Kouroubali, teacher in babies’ class in Athens)
“Let’s play basketball” someone said… And so, kindergarten kids just constructed a pop up basket from used tires!
They arranged by themselves a shooting order and patiently waited for their turn. They were little puzzled about how to get the ball out of this basket and needed to come up with some original solutions.
Through this spontaneous yard play, kindergarten children accomplished a bunch of educational milestones by themselves, just being based on pleasure and joy! Priceless….
(by Ioanna Eleftheriou & Stavroula Gaoutsi, teachers in our Athens kindergarten)