The first time I came to The Learning Tree was the first time I heard of this thing called, HighScope Curriculum! The more I learned and practiced HighScope Curriculum, the more I learned how it truly helps create children who love to learn!
So, what is HighScope Curriculum you ask? It is planning activities that provide children with the opportunity to do what they want with the materials, make it their own, and follow their own interests! If a child is given three pre cut white circles, an orange triangle, and two button eyes, they are going to make a snowman… and every child’s artwork will look the same. We at LT call this ‘Product Art’. We didn’t learn anything about the kiddo except maybe that they can use glue. Learning is more fun for children when they are allowed to make their own choices and follow their own interests.
Check out these HighScope Valentine’s Day activities! These activities include open ended materials that allow the children to make it their own!
Sweet Treats: For this activity bust out some play-doh, or our Preschool classroom used their homemade play-doh. Add a variety of colored glass beads, or plastic hearts (can be found at The Dollar Store). Then add some cylinders from the block area to use as rolling pins! During this, we allow the children to explore with the materials and make their own choices. Some of the children made a love robot, some made a cupcake, some made a rose, and some of the children liked making heart imprints in the doh!
Shades Of Love: For this activity provide each child with some paint options, pink, red, black, and white. Talk about how the white looks light and the black looks dark. Make some predictions about what’s going to happen when they mix the colors and talk about what they might want to paint. Then let the children execute their interests. During this you will hear the children talk about their observations, describe what they are making, or even how the colors make them feel. The cool thing about this is no two will look the same. Each of them will have their own end product based on what they wanted it to be!
Ooey Gooey Oobleck: For this activity all you’ll need is corn starch, water, glass beads or marbles, and optional liquid watercolors (don’t use food coloring it will dye the children’s hands!). Use two parts cornstarch to one part water. Teach the kiddos the word oobleck. They will discover that when they apply pressure the mixture is firm, but then will liquify when they use soft pressure. The children will be able to talk about their observations, make choices with how they play/explore, and mix up their own magic!
To & From: This activity is SUPER simple and is directly geared towards the children’s interest. Talk about how fun it is to let the people we care about know we love them and sometimes we do this through cards. Then talk about how when you give someone a card you should let them know who it is ‘To’ and who it is ‘From’. Then bust out those dollar store envelopes and maybe a class list of Letter Links or cards that show how to write, Mom, Dad, Grandma, and Grandpa. The children are interested in this because they get to choose whoever they want to send it to. They get to choose if they write their name, or draw them a picture, or turn it into a dinosaur.
Love Counts: For this activity you will need dice, cups, and objects to count. Introduce the dice and talk about how each side has a certain number of dots you can count. The children will get to throw the dice in their own way chose the objects they want to count in their cup and even explore with sound and trial and error.