Today I set up and invitation to play based on Hibernation and a looking after our Hedgehogs. I gathered a few things that I had around the playroom. Some of our Autumn treasures from the sensory tray, wooden tree blocks form the construction area, a few Hedgehogs from our Autumn shelves and Scarves from the homecorner. I also added a story book about Hedgehogs as a point of reference or inspiration.
Little “L” approached this first and had a good look at the items in the small crates. She has started to remember the names of the different Autumn treasures and correctly name them now.
First of all she used the silk crafting leaves that I had placed in one crate and made a really comfortable soft bed for Mr Hedgehog.
“He all tumfortable now Pip”
“That’s kind L, he looks like he will be cosy on that bed, doesn’t he!”
She decided to have a look at the book to see what else Mr Hedgehog might need.
“He eats worms Pip!!!!! EWWWWWW!”
“Oh yummy worms for his dinner. Lucky Hedgehog” I replied
“No it not yummy, it discusting!”
“Shall I see if I can find something for Mr Hedgehog that looks like worms? Then he can have some dinner too” I asked
I popped in to the playroom and grabbed a pink pipe cleaner from the Craft box and a pair of scissors. I cut it up in to shorter lengths and passed them to Little “L”
“WORMIES! Tank you Pip”
She set about feeding Mr Hedgehog and then moved on to feeding his friends!
She carefully picked up one of the small Hedgehogs and stroked him with her finger.
After a while Little “R” came and joined us. She asked what we were doing and Little “L” told her we were making houses for Hedgehogs.
“Can I make a Hedgehog house too please Pip?”
“Of course you can, why don’t you come and sit down round this side so you have some space and then maybe you could use some of these bits” I replied while pointing to the Scarves and wooden blocks.
Little “R” asked for some worms and the girls worked out how to share them. Talking through how many they should have each.
Little “L” started to use the dried leaves to add more to the Hedgehog bed that she had made while Little “R” fed a Hedgehog.
Little “R” started to stack up some of the blocks to make her Hedgehog a nice warm house.
She lay a scarf over the top to keep him warm and safe!
Little “L” watched her and then created a roof for her Hedgehog as well.
Little “R” looked through the book talking about things that sparked her interest.
CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE LEARNING:
The aim of this activity was to offer the children materials that could be used for making Mr Hedgehog a warm safe home for the winter months. Some materials were items that he might really use, such as leaves, others were things that could be used to represent other things, like tree blocks to represent sticks and scarves to represent moss. The children can use their imaginations to decide how to use them and what they might be. They refer to their own knowledge of Hedgehogs and Hibernation to work out what he needs and if they get stuck there was the book to look at.
Little “L” used her current knowledge to choose leaves for a suitable bedding and made a cosy nest but she was not sure what else he might need. This is where she checked in the book and came across his wormy dinner! She was having her own ideas and making links with things she already knew. Both of the girls could think critically to create their own Hedgehog house, choosing their own way to do things. They were both very engaged and interested in this activity and willing to have a go. You could see them sharing ideas and talking through any problems that arose, such as sharing out the worms and resources.