This Morning In Yellowstone

The nice thing about AM club is that we can pretty much do what I want. There’s no curriculum or expectation for learning – my job is just to keep the kids occupied and safe for the morning. The downside is that there’s no paid planning, so mostly I just keep on my toes.

I got a text from my mom this morning saying that they were on Geyser Hill in Yellowstone. Texting isn’t exactly forbidden at my job, in fact, Imageit’s how I communicate with my offsite supervisor. So I read it to the kids, and then we wrote back and asked for pictures. In the meantime, we talked about Yellowstone and geysers and watched some videos of geysers erupting and a quick clip on how they worked. My dad sent some nice photos and tomorrow I will bring in my laptop so we can watch a video he made of our trip to Yellowstone back in 1995.

The reality is that it’s 2012, and people have smartphones and no one wants to keep them locked in their closet or stowed away in their purses. There are too many ways they can enrich what we do as teachers and care providers, and if we don’t have them in our pockets, we will miss out on the best opportunities to use them.

The Bean Game

Entertaining my twos is way easier than entertaining the older kids. I snagged a bean from a sensory box the other day and started doing this activity with individual children in the class.

Put simply, grab a bean, a coin, pompom or something. Show the child both hands (palms up) with the bean in one. Close your hands slowly and ask, “Where’s the bean?” The child points to the hand you just closed, and you open it to show them. Then put your hands behind your back and switch the bean (or don’t) and ask again. You will get a lot of giggles when the answer is wrong, and a happy smile when it is right. 

There’s more than just easy entertainment going on here. The child is learning to make a prediction about where the bean is going to be, and that’s a really important part of the scientific method. Sometimes toddlers and preschoolers aren’t very happy when they make incorrect predictions, and the giggling and fun of the bean game teach that it’s fine to make predictions that are wrong – the game isn’t ruined and we keep on playing.