Busy Bees in The Hive Classroom: An exploration of loose parts

When you give children access to loose parts and extended periods of time to explore and create….you will see amazing things. Year after year I ask my self, why are the students in The Hive Classroom always so engaged with loose parts? What creates this type of success? It is not just having access to wonderful materials…you can’t purchase creativity.

The teachers in The Hive Classroom do an incredible job of providing a variety of materials, quality work space and large periods of uninterrupted time. They carefully introduce each material, slowly and intentionally into the classroom, making sure children are ready to use it safely and properly. This process allows for children to push past the first idea, or the first moment of boredom or the first conflict and explore problem solving skills and deeper levels of innovation.

The students in The Hive have been pushing their creativity with magnetic builders, loose wooden parts, blocks and other interesting loose parts…check out some of their interesting work!

 

What can you make using stumps and other building materials? I love the symmetry and balance that was achieved!
The wooden platform that these children are working on is such an inspirational building space. When children have different levels to work on, their play is instantly changed. I love the combination of wooden blocks, animal figurines and magnetic tiles.
Building zoos, habitats and homes! Aways a popular activity!
Building doesn’t have to happen on the floor! Using vertical spaces for building with magnetics encourages a new type of thinking! Suddenly children have to think about their creation in a new way!
Having a variety of shapes and types of wooden blocks is critical. Different shapes force children to find new ways to create balance and symmetry. Window blocks bring beauty and light. And diffferent types of wood allows us to explore texture and touch.
I love when I see a child build one of these beautiful magnetic “quilts”!
Teamwork tower building!
Adding a light projector to a space with translucent materials is such an incredible way for children to explore light, shadow and color. I love that in order to see their results the children had to build something tall enough for the light to hit it! What a wonderful natural challenge!

 

A Camping Expedition!

What do you do when all your students are talking about their latest adventure? You bring the outdoors in obviously! The Camping Experience is such a quintessential moment in childhood, but for some children it is not a possibility. I love how these teachers brought the adventure to the children, and made sure they were making memories that will last a life time!

Brining a tent into the classroom is such an easy dramatic play element! The students loved pretending to go on adventures, sleeping in their sleeping bags and hiding from bears!
Loose parts to inspire campfire building! These loose parts can be all the ingredients necessary to make their very own campfire! This was also a great opportunity to talk about fire safety, the different colors in a fire and what a fire needs to burn. 
Using our loose parts campfires, river rocks and our homemade smores to enjoy some dramatic play around the campfire! 
All the materials needed to make smores! Such a simple activity! Cardboard scraps, brown paper and cottons balls! 
Write your name in the DIRT! Children need as many opportunities as possible to practice their handwriting skills and letter recognition. As our children prepare to head to Kindergarten it is crucial that children are provided with engaging activities that go beyond just paper and pencil.

Little Gardeners!

The students in The Garden Classroom have been learning all about, How to Garden! Learning about tools, plants and proper maintenance of their beautiful garden space!

Learning about the different plants that grow in our Garden, exploring their parts and their many uses deepens our understanding of garden science leads us to examine our link to the natural world and our role in it. By caring for the garden the children are themselves growing, learning nurturing and empathy in the process. Using garden tools will help us understand mechanics and aid in developing physical skills.

Check out the fun we had!