Magnetic Fishing – Early Childhood Education Ideas
Child Initiated Play is part of our daily routine at daycare.
Hope’s Home encourages the use of imagination and creativity. That is why our environments are set up to be open-ended activities so that the children have the freedom to explore and do as they please. Our Early Childhood Educators are amazing at coming up with new and creative ways to let the children explore their own interests and curiosity, and we love sharing those child initiated play and project approach ideas. We are huge advocates for the Reggio Emilia model and want to help other Early Childhood Educators by providing them with inspiration.
So, what exactly is child initiated play?
According to Early Years Careers, it supports children in having ideas and being in control of their learning. It enables them to learn through first-hand experiences, allowing them to choose how to use the resources to do so.
Magnetic Fishing Activity
In this example of child initiated play, these two girls have gone fishing. Out of all of the toys in the room they chose the fishing poles and magnetic letters and fish. Each has a pole dangling a magnet above the letters. Several seconds and no fish have been caught. So they take turns hooking a fish or letter onto the end of the other’s line.
What are they learning through this activity?
- They are learning muscle control as they hold and guide the fishing rods and try to match the magnet on the end to a letter or fish. Picking up the items with their fingers requires fine motor control.
- They are learning letter recognition and pre-reading skills. Being introduced to letters in multiple formats throughout the day and giving the children a chance to experience them in many different ways, helps children practice what they’ve learned during Circle Times.
- They are learning to cooperate and work together. Social skills are practiced through taking turns, helping each other, and talking out what they are doing. Allowing children to play in pairs or smaller groups provides opportunities for children to build relationships with each other.
Turning play into a learning opportunity.
Activities like this can bring out questions and curiosities, leading to projects and deeper learning opportunities. For example, if the children are showing interest in the letters, pointing out what letter their name starts with could lead to talking about all of the letters in their name; and eventually into an interest in spelling and writing. Or the children could observe how the magnet picks up the letter by “sticking” to it. They may try to stick the magnet to other toys and surfaces in the room, exploring the properties of a magnet.
We love sharing our ideas just as much as we love hearing new ideas.
Do you have any fun and unique early childhood education ideas? Make sure you leave a comment down below! Childhood development is such an important part of their life and by sharing ideas we can improve our skills as ECEs to help our kids.
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