Every morning around 9:30 the sun is just over the pine trees outside our window and hits a small disco ball hanging in the room. The disco ball has been there forever, but the children have just become interested in it. The children run over to it and say "Leslie, do it!", and the ones who cannot talk walk over and point. As soon as I spin it, tiny dots of light spin through our room and the children get very excited and try to "catch them".
Our daily routine with the disco ball has inspired many days of play and learning with the toddler / two group. On the first day, we brought in one of our smaller light tables, sensory blocks, flash lights, and other small lights. We have been currently extending the children's interest of blocks, so this was a perfect way to incorporate the two preferences in the room.
The blocks quickly lost their appeal after a few short minutes, and it became all about the lights. The children would push them on and off, shine them all around, and hold the lights right up to their eye balls. Our light investigation lasted for most of the morning and I knew we had to keep it going!
Tuesday we decided to change the over head lights to black lights. We put out cotton balls, containers, sensory bottles filled with white paint, and other materials, and taped coffee filters all along the floor.
One girl had on a white shirt that day, and she was quite surprised when she noticed what was happening to it. "Look at my shirt! Look at my shirt!"
Wednesday we decided to use the black lights again, but have white slime out. Not all the children were crazy about the cold slimy texture, but most of them ripped it into a bunch of tiny little pieces. I took a bigger chunk and stuck it to lights. Slowly the slime started to creep towards them. "It's gonna get my head. Oh no!" said one child, and just a few short moments the weight of the slime made it fall and bounce into the bucket.
After the slime bounced into the bucket the children laughed and laughed. "AGAIN!!!" The rest of the morning was spent watching slime fall off of the light.
I had already made something to try the next morning when Karen goes on her break. (the time we usually play with the disco ball) I took cardboard from the recycling and glued reflective materials to it. I broke a scratched CD we had, and cut up aluminum foil. I also gathered a few other objects I knew would reflect the light and placed it all on the table (big metal spoon, recycled christmas card, a lid of a tin).
Thankfully our room has LOTS of natural light so everything gave off beautiful patterns on our walls and ceiling.
Everyone appeared pretty interested however their favorite part was chasing the lights. "I'm gonna get it!" they would say and run towards it. I kept lifting it up just as they were about to get it, and then they would jump trying to reach it. (Amusement for both the children and educators.)
The cracked CD even made a rainbow, which was very magical!
(I let them get it sometimes.)
Even after all the excitement we still had more to do! We decided to have a glow stick dance party! (an all time favorite)
After the children saw the photos I was taking they wanted to keep making more pictures! Every now and then they would run to the back of my camera to see. It has been a fun filled week with lots of new experiences for our Little Munchkins! I can't wait to see what's going to happen next!
- Leslie Dionne