Nature Play On Vancouver Island

Nature Kindergarten On Vancouver Island

Building More Dendrites


On Saturday I attended a Gary Anaka workshop which addressed a child's brain and what we can do to grow a healthy brain. including water, a healthy diet, good fats, movement, safety and much more. Right away my table group began discussing Reggio Inspired practice and how so many elements of this pedagogy support healthy brain growth in children. As I considered all of the wonderful pieces of my program one of the most success' this week has been morning tables.

This past week I have been paying attention to how my new kinder interact with each other and the materials in the classroom. Already they are slowing down and talking with each other and enjoying the open ended materials. The more time they use the materials the richer their play and conversations have become!

I am in love with morning tables and know that they are a rich experience for children and their brain development. 


This framework allows a slow start to their long days as they transition from the cubbies to table work, looking for a provocation that interests them. I have gradually increased the length of time children spend at this transition using their behaviours to guide me. The time grew from five minutes to 15 minutes in just one week. While this has already become a familiar routine, the novelty is in the change of location  classroom or outdoor, the change in stimulus and the change in social opportunities. 

A few key elements include
  • choice
  • talking with a peer
  • creative thinking
  • imagination
  • stamina
  • movement
  • time
A few ideas for provocations.....
  • story play
  • math manipulatives
  • literacy manipulative
  • simply pathway games
  • nature loose parts
  • art
  • literacy games
  • math games
  • science 
  • play doh
  • look closely program 
I am very intentional in my role during this time, observing the children, learning from them and when needed adding more materials to keep the building and thinking rich. When I see their stamina waining I simple drum and they tidy up moving to the next framework, Talking Circle and so their day begins.

Thanks for stopping by,  Liz 

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