This toddler loves dinosaurs. So, a hunt starts to make a fun sensory experience for him and some other preschoolers using rice and dinosaurs. Look at this awesome dinosaur found in his room!
Soon several dinosaurs are found. Using a tub that is already available, rice is added and the dinosaurs hidden in the rice. Other toddlers and preschoolers gather round to play in the rice and find the dinosaurs.
This is experience is so fun but let’s not forget all the learning that happens. As children explore, literacy is expanded as vocabulary is introduced: pressure, gritty, excavate, etc.
Number concepts are taught as children count how many dinosaurs they find. Words such as more, less and same are used to describe quantities during the play. Measurement is taught as children observe how long each dinosaur is and compare their sizes.
Visual art is available by the photographs I take of the children playing in the dinosaur rice table and then displaying the photos for the children to see. Additionally, photos of the dinosaurs that are in the tub can be displayed while playing.
At first the children are satisfied just finding the dinosaurs, then their play turns to Dramatic Play as they rely on their imaginations to roam through the desert, find food, or hide. Their play is now reflecting team efforts to build in shared play.
Fine motor skills are enhanced as they look for dinosaurs, pick them up, and move them around.
While the toddler and preschoolers play, I observe how each child plays and what interests him.
Talk about the colors of each dinosaur. Not all are a true green or blue. There are differing shades of color.
Be sure to include the specific learning you want to encourage on your lesson plan.
“I found one!” is a fun response to hear. It’s a great time for building a child’s sense of self and accomplishment.