When we start the day at school I have a loose plan of how our day will go; the projects, circle time songs and stories, art projects and experiments we may get to in the day. I say loose because even though I have an idea, the kids really lead the way at this age, and I love that. Somethings that I have in mind we never make it to, others they are not interested in, and then many they are so in love with that we spend weeks exploring and doing projects on. However, I do have days when I am stumped and I start the day with no back up plan, it is just what the kids lead me to do. On these days, I find that some of the best projects and play emerge and really take off. In teaching it is very true that when you get out of your own way, something magical can take over, and so the buggy bin emerged last Thursday and has been a favorite at school since then.
So, what is the "buggy bin?" Well, I had a storage tub with colored decorative rocks. The kids were having a hard time with each other, and so I needed something to engage them and took this bin out. It helped, but was lacking something, so together with the kids we started pulling different items out and adding them to the bin. We added rocks from our nature shelf, marbles, and then I pulled out the drawer of bugs, and they had to go in, along with tweezers and magnify glasses.
The fun began!
My daughter had a bug birthday party and we had some left over bug containers from the Dollar Store, and these were added into the box on another day. Having it all on the light table makes everything glow and is very inviting. For over a week, this has been a delight for the kids, and I love that they helped set it up and it was not a planned activity.
For me, this is getting closer to the ideals of The Reggio Emilia Approach, because I had little to go on that day, I had to listen more to what the children wanted to engage themselves in. They were the leaders and I was there to facilitate their ideas and desires. Who knew we would be discussing entomology this week!
Great for hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
Buggies kissing, how cute!
Young entomologist at work.
Even Skunks got in on the action.
Never saw someone so happy with a swarm of bees.
In the end, some of the bugs tried to escape, but we were able to catch them all and put them back!