Today we read the story Glacier on the Move by Elizabeth Rusch (Author), Alice Brereton (Illustrator) which is about a glacier Flo who shows you what her life is like, what glaciers are, how they are formed/change shape, what kind of creatures live nearby, and more fun scientific facts.
After reading the story we invited the children to come explore glaciers in the arctic through open-ended play and exploration. In a sensory bin we provided frozen glaciers mixed with liquid watercolors/tempera paint, water, insta snow, styrofoam shapes, and arctic animals. The children were invited to explore, play, imagine, reenact, and learn more about the world of glaciers.
Exploring these materials through open-ended play is a great way for extending literacy, language, imaginary play, and tactile play. Through this play they can reenact what they see/hear in stories, movies, shows, experiences, and environments around them to deepen their understanding of the world. This type of play can be defined as where children accept and assign roles, then act them out. When children engage in this type of play they break through the walls of reality, use their imagination, pretend to be someone or something different from themselves, explore different worlds, and have actions to go along with the roles they have chosen to play.
Play is an integral part of the developmental learning process by allowing children to develop skills in such areas as abstract thinking, literacy, math, & social studies, in a timely natural manner. They are able to play and manipulate a variety of materials and textures that stimulate their mind and body while deepening their connection and understanding of the world.