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!
We spent the whole week preparing our fairy tea party which took place on Thursday and Friday in the woods. After reading in school the legend of the rainbow fairies, we decided to help these little fairies make a rainbow.
In school, we put on the wings we made out of hangers and rope and practiced how to use the fairy dust and learnt a few spells! We mixed paints, just to find out that we only need three colors to make so many more.
We even tried to make our colors shine by sprinkling some fairy dust on them.
The result was to make everything around us shine bright, including ourselves!
On Thursday and Friday, we had a wonderful day in the woods!
We looked around for some fairy signs and while looking we found some acorns instead and a little tortoise wandering around.
We built our fairy welcome houses in the trees and decorated them the way we wanted.
Then, we went hunting for colors.
And used what we found to make a rainbow.
And after all this hard work, we set the table and had a cup of tea and biscuits!
(by Claire Hadjinikolaou, English teacher in Dorothy Snot, Athens)
Yesterday Sunday July 3, it was the summer party day for toddlers, post-toddlers and pre-K class. Our parties are always free play sessions, based in stimuli and projects children have been engaged the past months.
Pre-K class had the unique chance this year to visit one of the last living Greek art legends, the sculptor Mrs. Natalia Mela. It was such a moving experience for everybody!
After that, whole class entered into a fantastic journey in sculpturing by utilizing real life items, exactly like Mrs. Mela has been doing in her life!
By the use of everyday loose parts and other elements, our children created in class a number of fantastic artworks…
…and enjoyed a wonderful 3-month project.
So, it was normal to include this experience in summer party and connect their play to the sculpturing project. They worked in couples: one was the sculptor and the other was the sculpture! See the video:
Τhis is what life-derived learning is all about: Encouraging children to master unique lifetime experiences and then allowing them to build their own worlds.
2016 pre-Ks developed a strong love-for-sculpturing DNA, for life….
Working together with craftsman Ilias Karantoniou, kindergarten and summer camp kids created self-propelled wooden boats! After production was over, they used babies’ plastic swimming pool to test them!
Babies enjoy playing with cars or with anything else bearing wheels.
One day they found in class their favorite toy cars, having markers taped on their bumper! They also found a large paper roll on the table. Kids instantly took the cars and started drawing on paper!
By doing this, babies enjoyed playing but also improved their finger skills. Now, we maintain a permanent spot for this activity in class and our marker cars are always ready to take action!
(by Anastasia Kouroubali, teacher in babies’ class in Athens)
Free play in the yard for kindergarten kids by using loose parts….
Toddlers playing in the yard by inventing new use for tin cans!
Free play emerges everywhere, you just need to let it happen.
Free play involves anything, you just need to have stuff around.
Free play can be more fascinating if you have a friend to mess with.
Free play can be relaxing, you just need to let yourself be.
Free play can be collaborative, you just need to share it with your friends.
Free play is natural, it’s play and it’s free!
(by Spyridoula Patouna, teacher in pre-K class, in Athens)