Early Educators: A Must Have Item!
By Guest Blogger: Diane C., Child Development Specialist
Early Educators take note: While most of us try to prepare and plan ahead, there are those days when we need a quick and easy activity. (Keeping in mind that it has to engage and contain learning opportunities.) Enter, Dig It Up! Big Bugs. This kit has 12 eggs, chisels and a fake bug inside each egg. The series of photos below illustrate the steps I used for this activity.
In my room, I set-up the water table and added some green food coloring to give it a mossy color. I pre-soaked the eggs to soften them up a bit. Since I want to consider all abilities, I cracked the eggs to make it a tad easier for my 36-month-old kiddos.
Next, I placed the soaked eggs into the water table. I had parents and toddlers work together to open the eggs. My focus as an educator is social-emotional and cognitive development — here are a few built-in benefits from this activity:
Social-emotional growth: An increase in attention maintenance, curiosity and initiative in learning, engagement and persistence. Plus, increased opportunities in parallel play time.
Cognitive growth: An introduction to circular shapes, cause and effect (water softening the egg), developing an understanding of the natural world and more.
Considering all children are at different levels, these are goals to work towards. The benefit is providing the opportunities to guide them in mastery of those skills. I would recommend this activity in a head start and kindergarten setting (with supervision). However, it is a great activity for students well into late grade school. With all that said, this is an item to add to the must have list!
Side note: This kit provides opportunities for emergent curriculum based on questions that occur before, during and/or after the activity. Depending on the children’s interest, the theme could extend for several weeks.
Diane is a Child Development Specialist currently working in an early intervention program. She has worked in grades K-12, mostly within special education settings for over 7 years.