Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Nitty Gritty: Gravel Panel (Part 4 of 4)

Add a gravel panel to the truck pit for increased learning and fun in your outdoor classroom. The Adventurous Child’s Gravel Panel Add-On provides three different ways for the gravel to shoot through and fill the trucks and containers below. Pouring gravel through the gravel panel allows children to observe and demonstrate directional words—in, out, on, off, here, there, beside, next to and between. (These prepositions will surely lead to a wonderful conversation about keeping the gravel in the pit!)

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Nitty Gritty: Truck Pit (Part 3 of 4)

There are so many things to do in the truck pit! Children love digging, pouring, sifting, sorting, counting and manipulating pea gravel in the truck pit. Animals aren’t attracted to the pea gravel, so unlike sand, the gravel doesn’t have to be covered. The 9-inch-wide wide roads, hills and tunnels of the truck pit are large enough to accommodate medium sized Tonka trucks and set the stage for dramatic play. A great addition to any outdoor play area, children will love traveling the roadways, hills and tunnels of the truck pit.

Everyone at The Adventurous Child agrees, a truck pit is the way to go for equal parts entertaining and educational!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Nitty Gritty: Sand Table (Part 2 of 4)

You don’t have to go to the beach to have fun with sand. A sand table is a unique piece of children’s play equipment that is designed to allow children to stand, rather than sit, as they explore and manipulate a multitude of sensory items. Children can change the physical properties of the sand by mixing water with the sand then pouring and sifting it dry. Adding water to the sand also allows children to shape and create land and water forms. They can make molds, sift the sand, and draw in the sand with sticks to make unique shapes.

Our personal favorite thing about the sand table is that this is a great way to help children bond with each other: the table is long enough for several children to stand together as they work and play. Moreover: “In the sand [table] the children have the opportunity to become giants. They can create roads and mountains and houses. In a world where they are small and vulnerable, it is comforting to have a place where they can be big and in control” (Karen Miller, The Outside Play and Learning Book).

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Nitty Gritty: Fun with the Elements (Part 1 of 4)

Sand and gravel: two of the most basic elements in our world, and yet most people wouldn’t consider them educational. When adults think of sand, they may think of a fun day at the beach or something to watch pass through an hourglass. As teachers we understand that these are fantastic elements for allowing children to learn about pouring, counting, manipulating, and more. Watch the children as they investigate the feel, sound, and smell of these tiny particles. Conversations about their physical properties and measurements will abound – all while they are simply having fun playing and pouring! On Thursday, we will show you some of our fun products utilizing sand and gravel.