Cooking is one of kids most favorable activities in school. Apart from being a great life-derived play, cooking assists toddlers to get acquainted with a good number of skills.
Getting in touch with math, for example, in the age of 2.5 y.o is greatly achieved through cooking. Children start to understand what does it mean “two spoonful of sugar” or “4 eggs”.
Their fine motor skills also are greatly enhanced, as well as their decision making skills. “Which goes first, the oil or the cheese?” The purpose is not to give them answers, but encourage them to think for themselves.
As it always goes on play: we do not cook to learn, but we learn so much while cooking!
In a truly play-based environment, every single item can be transformed into a hat, a shoe, a wheel or a stool. That is why our spaces often look like junkyards!
Children should feel completely free to engage into play with anything that exists around, no matter what it may be; so they imagine, innovate, combine, cooperate and develop independent thinking, on a free will basis.
In May 2017, Meynell visited Dorothy Snot school in Athens to participate in the opening event of our new, bigger school.
Given the chance, we organized a public discussion on “What is Play?” in our old school’s garden.
Meynell gladly shared his experience and wisdom with us! Get a taste of what happened by watching the following video:
Pre-Ks on the runway of Plefsis dance studio, in Athens! Actual life-derived learning.
Talking about winter fruits in our English pre-k class. We introduced new vocabulary by giving fresh fruit to the children to feel, smell and taste. With their eyes closed they were able to identify and name them all!
Then, we made a fruit salad. After we ate it all we played games in the yard.
We rolled plastic fruit to see how far they can go…
….hang them high and tried to hit them with improvised bats.
We also had a real grocery store set up in our dramatic play area!
The next day we decided to make smoothies. We came up with a recipe….
….executed it and decided whether we like it or not!
(by Claire Hadjinikolaou, English teacher in Athens school)
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.
Living in a hot Mediterranean city like Athens, snow is a rare thing to see, downtown. But today, it was one of these days!
Being unfamiliar with snowy weather, the Municipality of Athens advised all schools to remain closed. However, a brave play-based school like Dorothy Snot is not afraid of some snow flakes!
The sure thing is our kids loved it. Being able to play with snow in the heart of the city is such an unusual experience down here. Not to mention that most of our 4 and 5 y.o. had not ever seen Athens in white!
Play in life-derived conditions is always the most exciting thing for children. And we are dedicated to keep providing this kind of play!