Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Glow Sticks in Big Boxes!

Fun with glow sticks just don't stop!
...especially when you have large boxes to create dark, cozy spaces.
The view from inside.
This is what it looks like with flash...The kids brought pillows and blankets inside to make it cozy.
This is what it looks like with no flash!
What is the purpose of glow sticks? I guess there is none, other than they are really fun! I guess that is what a play-based classroom is all about...learning while having FUN.
You can almost see their smiling faces. :)
Christopher connected several glow sticks together, building fine motor skills. The kids used the connectors to create bracelets, necklaces, and...
...a WHIP!

The shorter box was juuust big enough for the little ones to crawl into.
While the bigger box could comfortably fit 3 children, and still "close the doors," which was their favorite part, of course.
I had to take pictures through the cracks in the doors...which was pretty tricky!
If they weren't able to close the doors themselves, they had friends help (pro-social behavior). They also used heavy objects as props to hold the flaps shut (inquiry and problem solving). These are skills that were encouraged not through the teacher coaching...rather by simply adding to the environment. 
Children need cozy spaces to "get away" from the noisiness of a busy classroom. I experienced this first-hand, when I had an extra teacher. I crawled inside the smaller box (only half of my torso could fit), along with Braeden, and instantly, the noises from the classroom were muted. It was just me and Braeden, making happy faces with glow sticks.
All children need a space where they can "get away," even if it's just to explore glow sticks with your best buddies.
I love the bracelets!
As to be expected, there were a few scraps over who would get a turn...
...this was quickly remedied by the use of 3 minute sand timers (I had them flip them over twice so each group got a six minute turn).
But even this was not enough. I quickly realized we needed yet another dark, cozy space...
So I put a large table cloth over a table, added some carpet squares on the floor, and voila! Another dark, cozy area for glow stick play. It wasn't as dark as the boxes of course, but still fun. This photo was taken without the flash.
When parents came in to drop off a child, they would ask, "Where are all the kids?" :)
My classroom looked almost empty for three days, and with the lights off, it must have seemed that way!
This is a view from inside the large box. They finally opened the doors, and I got a few sneaky pictures of the glow stick magic...

Happy playing! 

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