BOY + BOT tells the story of a boy and a robot who are both fascinated by how the other half lives! Both parties learn a lot and develop a wonderful friendship in this adorable tale. Children's literature about robots truly captures the wonder and creativity that fills a child's mind! As an adult, I'm still fascinated (and dumbfounded) by new technology; for young children, all technology is new! The world is filled with things that are mysterious and incredible. S has recently become interested in how traffic lights work while we drive from place to place. He has learned that many run on timers and many others on sensors. And he still finds wonder in pretending we can "turn the light green" by making up silly "magic words!" Learning about robots through children's fiction is a great way to gain understanding and vocabulary around how robots work while still maintaining that sense of whimsy and wonder. Creating and crafting about it truly takes that to the next level!
his great invitation to create a robot using playdough and loose parts on the blog, Fantastic Fun and Learning and immediately fell in love! We do a lot of playdough activities here and I wanted to take this to the next level to create something that S could have permanently, so in lieu of playdough I substituted Crayola Model Magic clay mixed with silver glitter. I was so amazed at how much S enjoyed the experience of working with clay. He got really into it! He loved the texture and enjoyed using tools as much as he enjoyed using his hands with it. He moved through several different versions of his robot along with a fabulous story line as he worked. I'm hoping to add a magnet back to our finished robots once they dry so we can display them on the refrigerator.
Our library's craft event was incredible and a perfect compliment to the activities we've been doing at home. We were like kids in a candy store, only more like a recycled materials store! S and I worked together while Y slept in the carrier and created this amazing recycled robot:
|When we do art together, I try to give options but not directions. I want for S to use as many of his own ideas as possible.|
Our robot story stretchers have taken us deep into our imaginations through art, building, storytelling and, of course, play. To incorporate some math and science into our week, I set up these fun play stations:
|There are so many fascinating parts inside robots! Exploring magnetism is a great way to expand on this theme. We recycled our dry pasta sensory bin from last week's story stretcher for this "Magnet Scavenger Hunt" sensory bin. There are a lot of great play and learning activities to introduce magnets to young children. This one is a great introduction.|
|We printed and used this great free robot shape puzzle along with our set of shape magnets for a magnetic table time activity that also encourages mathematical skills in geometry! The free printable has a second page with shapes that can be cut and used in lieu of magnets and you can use it with a glue stick to create a collage or laminate it and use it with velcro or magnets for a reusable learning material.|
That's a wrap for this week's adventure in robotics! We've had a lot of fun playing, creating, and reading together. Next week we will be back as the birthday train leaves the station. That's right, S is about to turn 3 and we're chugging and choo-chooing along to one of his very favorite books, The Little Engine That Could. We will be engaging in some fun story dramas, reviewing shapes and the aleph-beis (Hebrew alphabet letters), preparing for his BIG DAY and, of course, happily playing!