Day Nursery Carnival Week was a learning opportunity
Last week was Carnival Week at Day Nursery. The curriculum for the week was built around the carnival theme and included a variety of activities worked in to the educational centers in the classrooms. All week the teachers used carnival games and materials to promote development in the children. Parents often comment that they see their children “playing” and don’t see how that translates to education. Carnival week is a good opportunity to share with you the thought process that goes into the weekly lesson plan. I will use the Day Nursery center in Avon for our example since Joy McCall, the center director, was nice enough to send me these pictures. In the infant room, Mrs. Krystal and Mrs. Cheryl dressed the children up as clowns one day and made clown feet to decorate the hallway. The Creative Curriculum® teaches us that although children imitate and pretend naturally, they will not development high level dramatic (or pretend) play skills unless adults encourage this type of activity. Starting with infants and toddlers, teachers develop a responsive relationship with each child and create an environment that promotes exploration. Research tells us that children who have good dramatic play skills–who know how to pretend about situations, use props in imaginative ways, and interact with peers in their play–are more likely to be successful learners than those who do not have these skills. In the two year old room with Mrs. Marla and Mrs. Shelia, the children worked on their motor skills when played ring toss and bean bag toss games. In Ms. Karin Bish’s preschool classroom, the children make tickets to use in the pretend play area. They also made a tightrope which they said could be used by “children and animals.” In their discovery area they used their comparison skills when they made lemonade taste sour and sweet. And the Bozo Grand Prize Game was a big hit in the toys and games area where every day children learn to cooperate with one another by sharing and taking turns. In this area they also develop confidence when they complete a task successfully and they develop their language skills when they use words to describe how the game is played and how they put it together. The week culminated with a family carnival complete with games and special refreshments. The snow cones were a great way to cool down on a hot summer day. Click on each picture below to see a larger version.