(Guided By Prof. Ellen Booth Church)
A place to explore and express with different forms of media… from the computer to musical recordings and instruments. Be sure that the amount of time that children spend with technology is much shorter than hands-on active play.
* Audio recorders/players with multiple headphones, maybe a karaoke system
* Lots of variety in music, including World Music, and environmental sounds
* Drums of all kinds (from all over the world) – don’t overlook a pot and spoon
* Bells – cow, jingle, wrist, chimes, xylophone, triangle
* Shaken sound – various items sealed in cylinders, film canisters, gourds
* Bunches of things to shake – keys, buttons, metal washers, strung copper pipe cuts
* Solid and hollow tubes for rhythm sticks (maybe a rain stick)
* Tapes you make of mystery sounds with a picture match card (baby, cat, train, etc.)
* Things to wave in the air to music – scarves, feathers, flowers, fans, ribbon streamers
* Each theme section will also describe a simple instrument the children can build
* DVD player and appropriate discs (optional)
* Old digital cameras
READING, WRITING and ALPHABET CENTRE
Where reading is FUN and writing is a celebration!
Young children are fascinated with books and writing, even if they don’t know how yet! You will notice children gravitating to this centre whenever they need a quiet break from active play or when they have something to say or write. Your literacy centre should be a soft and comfy with a place to cuddle up with a wide assortment of reading materials, not just books! Provide a low table for children to experiment with writing. Hang a bulletin board nearby to display samples of children’s drawings and writings. Have a shelf for journals and/or a shoe bag for “mailboxes”. Children often first learn to write for a purpose, so materials for writing notes and messages are essential. You can create picture dictionaries to go with each unit. Draw or paste a picture of common words used in the Unit on a 4X6 card and write the word below or on the back. Children who are interested in writing the words can use them for reference… but don’t expect them to perfectly copy the words! Like the art centre… this is a place for free exploration with reading and writing approximations. Children in the centre will use different techniques to read and write in their own way. That is how they learn the process of reading and writing!
Here are some great things to consider stocking your centre with:
* A comfy rug, pillows, and small quilts
* BOOKS – alphabet, picture, reference, big, little, pop-up, textural, with sound
* scratch and sniff, art, photography, funny, BOOKS
* Books that chronicle the class (weather, our tree, etc.)
* Books created by the children (our trip, our party,etc. )
* Books with accompanying recordings
* Felt boards, rebus posters, book posters, chalk board and chalk
* Children’s magazines
* Alphabet cards and posters
* Paper for blank books, markers, pencils, glue sticks
* Letters as blocks, foamcore or wood cutouts, rubber stamps, sponge shapes, magnetic
* Lines and unlined paper for writing
* AND MORE BOOKS
DRAMATIC PLAY CENTRE
Where children can test the vast roles and relationships in their future.
Children learn by imagining and doing. Your Dramatic Play Centre is the perfect place for children to actively experiment with the social and emotional roles of life. Through cooperatively creating play themes children learn how to take turns, share responsibilities and creatively problem-solve. Language and theme specific vocabulary is introduced and grown through your dramatic play activities. Children use pre-reading and pre-writing skills in near “real-life” situations as they make lists, take telephone messages and read magazines to the dolls. Truly, your dramatic play centre has it all…making it a safe microcosm for children to learn many of the essential social and cognitive skills for life.
Here are some basics to consider adding to your centre:
* Unbreakable full length mirror
* Clothes, shoes, mittens, purses, backpacks, washable or disposable hats for all seasons
* Child-sized furniture for kitchen and family room
* Telephones, phone books, magazines
* Cooking utensils, dishes, (empty) food containers, table napkins, silk flowers
* Baby dolls, clothes, crib, high chair, etc.
* Other dolls, toys, and stuffed animals
* Fabric pieces, blankets, sheets, (share with Block Centre)
* soft balls, bean bags, balance board, wagon, stage or curtain, and hand puppets
* Include theme appropriate materials such as postcards, tickets, foreign coins and photos for a travel agency. Pictures, costumes and objects such as menus, and cooking utensils for a restaurant, etc.
* Writing materials and writing pads (and post-its) for taking phone messages, leaving notes, writing recipes, writing checks, and making shopping lists
* Grocery store sale circulars, story-books, magazines, cook books
SAND, WATER, CLAY
Here we build, explore, and have messy fun!
Rotate the sand and water areas depending on the theme and children’s interest. A separate clay table is a wonderful mini-centre for children.
* Smocks, or T-shirts as protection for clothing
* Pails, tubs, and sturdy cans (plastic, or metal with no sharp edges)
* Assorted sieves, colanders, funnels, and mesh items
* Plastic jugs diagonal cut to make scoops
* Small garden tools, combs, spoons, scoops and ladles
* Shells, rocks, driftwood, bark, wood scraps and other natural materials
* Egg cartons, foam meat trays, film canisters, frosting tubs, aluminium trays and foil
* Zip seal bags in various sizes
* Toy and real pots, pans, tableware and cutlery
* Funnels, plastic tubing of various diameters
* Squirt and spray bottles
* Whisks, potato mashers, eggbeaters, eyedroppers
* Gelatine moulds, muffin tins, big cookie cutters
* Plastic people, animal figures and vehicles
* Dish pans, hand towels, brooms and dust pan
* Builder’s sand or white decorative sand
* Potter’s clay, plasticine, air-dry clay, Papier macheẻ
* Food coloring or watercolors