Thursday, March 27, 2014

Balloons! Just Playing?

balloon collage


This week- a little trip down memory lane! These photos are from a few years ago when I brought home a giant bouquet of balloons!


Welcome to the weekly "Just Playing?" Blog Hop hosted here at Child Central Station. If this is your first week joining us- you may wish to learn more by visiting the "Just Playing?" landing page. 


Last week- we looked at children playing with a giant cardboard box. I have updated the post to include additional insights into the learning that took place during the play. You can see the revised post here.


Now on to this week's photos:


balloon 2 balloon 1


 We may be "just playing", but....


What are the children doing here?


What do you see?


What learning is taking place?


What skills are being practiced/developed?


just playing This post is part of the "Just Playing?" Blog Hop!


Thank you for remembering that young children do not "just play." Young children play. They develop through play. They learn through play. They experiment through play. They grow through play. A child's work is play. Play is important!


Please take a moment to reflect upon the photos and questions above. I would love for you to share your observations in a comment. I'd also like to invite you to "hop" on over to all of the other bloggers who are sharing photos of children learning through play this week:




If you are looking for more of our “Just Playing?” posts and resources from around the globe, please visit our Pinterest Board.


Are you a blogger? Would you like to join the JUST PLAYING? blog hop community?


You can join the hop via our Facebook Group: Just Playing?


or please contact Amy from Child Central Station for more information.


 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Giant Cardboard Box: Just Playing?

just playing box

This week- we had a new toy delivered- in a HUGE box! I'll be sharing more about our new toy next week, but for today, we are playing with the giant cardboard box!


Welcome to the weekly "Just Playing?" Blog Hop hosted here at Child Central Station. If this is your first week joining us- you may wish to learn more by visiting the "Just Playing?" landing page. 


Last week- we looked at children playing with cedar planks. I have updated the post to include additional insights into the learning that took place during the play. You can see the revised post here.


Now on to this week's photos:


box 1 box 2 box 3 box 5 box 6


box 8 box 9 box 10


These girls spent so much time going in, out, and around the box. They would take turns opening and closing the "doors", giggling, running to the back of the box and knocking, then running to the front and hiding inside. Boxes truly are the best toy ever!


 We may be "just playing", but....


What are the children doing here?


What do you see?


What learning is taking place?


What skills are being practiced/developed?


just playing This post is part of the "Just Playing?" Blog Hop!


Thank you for remembering that young children do not "just play." Young children play. They develop through play. They learn through play. They experiment through play. They grow through play. A child's work is play. Play is important!


Please take a moment to reflect upon the photos and questions above. I would love for you to share your observations in a comment. I'd also like to invite you to "hop" on over to all of the other bloggers who are sharing photos of children learning through play this week:




If you are looking for more of our “Just Playing?” posts and resources from around the globe, please visit our Pinterest Board.


Are you a blogger? Would you like to join the JUST PLAYING? blog hop community?


You can join the hop via our Facebook Group: Just Playing?


or please contact Amy from Child Central Station for more information.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Building with Cedar Planks : "Just Playing?"

Building with Cedar Planks


This week- we are building with cedar planks!


Welcome to the weekly "Just Playing?" Blog Hop hosted here at Child Central Station. If this is your first week joining us- you may wish to learn more by visiting the "Just Playing?" landing page. 


Last week- we looked at a child playing in a playhouse. I have updated the post to include additional insights into the learning that took place during the play. You can see the revised post here.


Now on to this week's photos:


(please excuse the quality, I temporarily misplaced my camera and was using my phone to capture the children at play!)


cedar planks 1 cedar planks 2 cedar planks 3 cedar planks 4 cedar planks 5


 We may be "just playing", but....


What are the children doing here?


What do you see?


What learning is taking place?


What skills are being practiced/developed?


just playing This post is part of the "Just Playing?" Blog Hop!


Thank you for remembering that young children do not "just play." Young children play. They develop through play. They learn through play. They experiment through play. They grow through play. A child's work is play. Play is important!


Please take a moment to reflect upon the photos and questions above. I would love for you to share your observations in a comment. I'd also like to invite you to "hop" on over to all of the other bloggers who are sharing photos of children learning through play this week:





If you are looking for more of our “Just Playing?” posts and resources from around the globe, please visit our Pinterest Board.


Are you a blogger? Would you like to join the JUST PLAYING? blog hop community?


You can join the hop via our Facebook Group: Just Playing?


or please contact Amy from Child Central Station for more information.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sticky, Ooey, Bumpy, Edible, Fun, Homemade, Infant and Toddler Safe Slime!

Tapioca Slime Title

 Our program experienced quite a bit of turnover this past fall as many of the children who had been with us for a number of years outgrew us!  So, we have been quite busy with a wonderful group of infants, toddlers, and young preschoolers. When you work with a younger crowd- your mindset changes to make sure that the activities are not only developmentally appropriate, but also safe. We need to worry more about mouthing, tasting, and eating than we have had to in a very long time.


I have been inspired quite a bit by the creativity and ingenuity of Asia Citro over at Fun at Home with Kids. She has some great ideas for safe edible water beads, and a fantastic slime! As I was reading her post about water beads, I thought about some of the slimes we have made (like the Kool-Aid slime) and I thought- "hmmmnnn Tapioca, tapioca is a starch, corn starch is a starch... I wonder if boiling tapioca pearls will create a fun bumpy slime?"..... so of course, I had to experiment! Look at what happened:


edible bumpy slime


Sticky, Ooey, Bumply, Edible, Fun, Homemade, Infant and Toddler Safe Slime!!!!


Here is what I used (affiliate link):



After a bit of experimentation, I found that if you boil


tapioca boil



6 cups of water and


1/3 c tapioca pearls


for 30 minutes...


you get an AMAZING slime!


tapioca slime



The mixtures starts off milky and thin. As it boils, it thickens and becomes more translucent. You and keep the slime colorless or you can add a few drops of food coloring to the mix. The slime stays slimy as long as you store it in the refrigerator when you are not using it. (It thickens a bit more as it cools - kind of like gravy does....)


green tapioca pearls


If you opt to leave the slime out, it will not last as slime, but end up as a watery liquid with tapioca pearls floating in it! (This is also fun to play with, but definitely NOT slime!)


We have made a couple of batches of this slime and tapioca pearls, and then.... after playing with some of the pearls... I had another thought.... I wonder what happens when.........


cornstarch tapioca


you add cornstarch to the watery pearls....


would you get a slime kind of like the safe slime on Fun at Home with the Kids?


or would it be different? Well, of course we had to try it!


cornstarch tapioca 2The slime we created was very different from that we made following the recipe from Fun at Home with Kids. It was VERY sticky, and much like regular oobleck it gets really hard when it settles!


Have you ever experimented with recipes? I'd love to hear about it!


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

In the Playhouse- "Just Playing?"

Just Playing Playhouse


This week- we are playing in the playhouse!


Welcome to the weekly "Just Playing?" Blog Hop hosted here at Child Central Station. If this is your first week joining us- you may wish to learn more by visiting the "Just Playing?" landing page. 


Last week- we looked at children playing with a parachute. I have updated the post to include additional insights into the learning that took place during the play. You can see the revised post here.


Now on to this week's photos:


house 3 house 2 house 1


 We may be "just playing", but....


What are the children doing here?


What do you see?


What learning is taking place?


What skills are being practiced/developed?


just playing This post is part of the "Just Playing?" Blog Hop!


Thank you for remembering that young children do not "just play." Young children play. They develop through play. They learn through play. They experiment through play. They grow through play. A child's work is play. Play is important!


Please take a moment to reflect upon the photos and questions above. I would love for you to share your observations in a comment. I'd also like to invite you to "hop" on over to all of the other bloggers who are sharing photos of children learning through play this week:





If you are looking for more of our “Just Playing?” posts and resources from around the globe, please visit our Pinterest Board.


Are you a blogger? Would you like to join the JUST PLAYING? blog hop community?


You can join the hop via our Facebook Group: Just Playing?


or please contact Amy from Child Central Station for more information.

It Wasn't Peek-A-Boo, Respecting Infants at Play

Last week, a colleague of mine asked, "What does a child-led, play based program look like for infants and toddlers?" For man...