The Dinosaur Visit this week with Donna and Dave was very well received. The Sparkles enjoyed the hands-on experience from fossicking for treasure and dinosaur teeth to investigating fossils and learning about different dinosaurs to patting baby dinosaurs that moved, and yes some of our friends thought they were real! This extended onto our construction interest into creating a dinosaur house panorama. Where the group painted and added items to construct a house for our dinosaur figurines to live in. The Sparkles have engaged in this experience repeatedly at the end of the week adding further items to extend their play such as ferns, rocks, and food.

The building has continued to be explored during the week with opportunities and provisions to create with, such as fairy houses, magnetic blockhouse, and clay houses. Books have extended this learning with titles “A House of Mud’ by Sophie Mason, ‘Home’ by Carson Ellis’ and ‘Iggy Peck Architect’ by Andrea Beaty were among our favourites.

We have moved our room around after reflecting, to include a larger area to join in dramatic play experiences. This was extended due to a large number of children in the area and scaffolding onto a puppet theatre after exploring the Story ‘The Three Little Pigs’ and their types of houses. Puppets and opportunities to create puppets were added to the area and a theatre and popcorn stand has furthered their role-play scenarios.

The Treasure’s interest in buildings and architecture has continued and is developing into an investigation into different types of windows. The windows that are particularly appealing to the Treasures are stain glass windows. We watched a short clip using our interactive smartboard that showed images of stained glass windows from around the world and then took some time to reflect on what we had seen.

‘It has lots of colours’ said Niamh

‘I see yellow’ said Hayden

‘Oh purple too’ said Manreet

‘And blue’ said Maddy

Red Red Red!’ said Lachlan

‘I see the same windows as the Sistine Chapel’ said Jayda

‘Yeah they are in all the chapels’ said Amelia

‘Like our school chapel’ said Stella

‘There are lots of patterns’ said Ryan

And I see triangles’ said Austin

‘I can see lots of circles’ said Zoey

‘Oh I see one, two, three shapes.’ Said Teddy.

Many of the children then took the opportunity to create their own stained glass window using special coloured markers and clear plastic sheets. As the children were making their own creations they began experimenting with patterns, shapes, and symbols (EYLF Learning Outcome 5).

The Gems have continued with their learning on the human body, with the interest taking a different turn to our senses. The senses have become a focus after Esther and Matilda were discussing body parts when making puppets of body parts such as noses, ears, mouths, and eyes. Esther said “this mouth has teeth“ and the educator asked “what do we do with our mouth?” and Esther replied, “eat and chew“. Matilda then said, “the nose is for smelling, I like to smell flowers”. After this discussion, a variety of sensory experiences were planned to

extend our sense of smell such as scented tea bag painting, playdough that smelt of peppermint, and a science area with a variety of smelly jars including lemon, orange oil, spearmint oil, and lavender. The children had an opportunity to smell each jar and try to match it to the corresponding picture.

That’s mint, I like mint chocolate – said, Matilda

That’s lemon – said, Ashton

It smells like an orange – said, Flynn

It smells like lollies – said, Eddie

We then explored our senses with special feely bags and smelly bags at group times. Each child had a turn at selecting an item from the feely bag, wearing a blindfold, and predicting what item it was without looking. The smelly bag was the same concept, each child chose an item from the bag and then had a smell and tried to guess what it was blindfolded.

Through these experiences, the children are becoming confident and involved learners as they predict and connect with the world around them.