This topic required a bit of sensitivity as a few of our children do not have a father in their home. They are blessed, however by grandfathers who play an active part in their lives, so I included grandfathers and uncles in our discussion.
Seahorses were mentioned the day before as one of our upcoming topics. Apparently, someone was really paying attention, as this little person eagerly shared all of the facts he knew about seahorses before he even had his coat off the next day. He continued to amaze us at the Invitation to Create table and Circle Time. Our curriculum, Mother Goose Time, provides us with beautiful photographs to inspire our children at the Invitation to Create station, as well as the majority of the materials for the children to use as they wish.
Also in our curriculum box each month is a file folder game. We choose to play the game in our small group time of the day, which is when we focus on school-readiness skills. In my group are 6 children who will attend kindergarten in the fall and my assistant has the younger children in her group. On the day there is a file folder game, one group will use it in the am, the other in the pm. The Daddy Seahorse Game was enjoyed by both groups!
Before we played the game, I asked the children how their Daddies carry them. “On his back,” said N. Many others shouted, “me too!” As I gave each child a plastic block, I asked them if they remembered how daddy seahorses carry their babies until they are ready to hatch. “In their pouch!” shouted I. “Let’s pretend to be Daddy Seahorses and carry this block (our baby) in our pouch, ” I said. The children rolled up their shirt hems and placed the block in it. We swam around our table then sat back down to play the game.
As the children moved their piece on the game board, G. exclaimed, “I’m winning!” N. said, “You’re with me! We’re BOTH winning!” I was happy to hear phrases such as “Here’s the next purple spot,” as we have been working on the math concepts of next and how to follow the directions of a game.
Throughout the game, I was able to observe several skills: Number concepts (skills 15.1, 15.2 and 15.3 in the Mother Goose Time Developmental Continuum chart), Social Relationships (skill 3.2) and Identification of colors. In the Teacher Guide, directly under each activity, the skills are already listed for me, making it very easy to record assessments. I observed the children count out the number of seahorses on their space, and made note if they were able to apply one number name per seahorse or not. If not, I made a note to practice this again in the near future. If you want to know about the skills mentioned above, CLICK HERE.
There are winners and losers in life and preschool is a safe place to practice how we deal with the emotions that come from either side. It’s OK to feel disappointed, as long as you don’t hurt people or property around you. It’s OK to feel proud that you won as well, as long as you don’t gloat or brag. Our children are taught that you shake the winner’s hand and say congratulations to be a good sport.The winner says, “thank you.” It is a difficult concept for many of our children and I imagine you know a few adults in your life that haven’t quite developed these important social and life skills. We will continue to practice and daily life in preschool provides us with many opportunities to do so.
The games and activities in our Teacher Guide allow for a lot of flexibility. This works well with our multi-age classroom of 3 to 6 year-olds. My group played the more advanced level of the file folder game. They are learning how to handle more than one concept at time, such as rolling a die then moving to the matching color, identifying the number on the square, then counting out the correct number of seahorses. My assistant’s group are still working on colors and following simple directions, so they played the simplified version.
Need more tips on how to handle multi-age classrooms? FREE Ideas Here
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