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ECE Director's Blog

New Tools for ECE Play-Based Learning

Hello families! I am excited to take this time to tell you a little about some things I have been doing to bring science to life in our Kimak classrooms. I recently was awarded a $1500 PTO mini-grant, which are grants designed to fund the purchase of items that are beyond the scope of the normal school operating budget, and will positively impact significant numbers of students and their learning.

With this grant, I have purchased many educational tools that have been brought into the classroom and are being rotated so all the children will have access to these innovative new toys. Some of the things I bought include:

  • Liquid timers, which help with time management and calming and relaxation in the classroom;
  • Tornado tubes, to help children discover different weather patterns;
     
  • Ant Farm light up colonies for kids, to watch ants construct tunnels and make homes;
     
  • Root View farms, so learners can see how the life cycle of a vegetable looks in all stages of growth; and
     
  • Fillable kaleidoscopes, which children use by adding their own trinkets to look at through the kaleidoscope lens. Pictured here are some of our children enjoying magnifying blocks, which will help them see magnified details of things in their classrooms, all while they construct and build like little engineers! 

 

Play-based learning remains at the leading edge of preschool educational strategies. Children are known to learn best when they can make inquiries, even if guided, and these tools will help them become more thoughtful and focused learners.

One of my favorite purchases was six portable light tables, with all kinds of interesting and exciting things to observe and explore -  such as agate slices, laminated plant and insect specimens, and many other fun accessories. The light tables will be signed out and shared between classrooms. I will also be bringing some of these tools into my STEAM clubs! 

A big thank you to the PTO for offering these mini-grants to those of us who love to continuously improve our classrooms and learning experiences!

Read more about play-based learning here.

More Blog Posts

Our ECE program has recently added some new educational tools to enhance our students' play-based learning, an innovative strategy to keep children more engaged and thoughtful in the classroom.

Tips and tricks for a safe and fun Halloween

Many of you have first time Trick-or-Treaters, and this may be your first time Trick-or-Treating with your kids if you don’t have older children. Here are a few ideas to help make your Trick-or-Treating experience safe and fun for everyone!