Have you tried infusing math into your small world play? We love wood cookies and have many in our room and outdoors. Some are numbered, some have dots, others have letters or words on them. Constant exposure to numbers, letters and sight words in small world play is such a simple and easy way to encourage children to think about math and literacy. All of a sudden math can be brought into a story that a child is telling. We’ve heard this past week, “zebra is going to his bed on number 3”, “to get to gorilla’s bed you have to follow the path 5, 4, 3, 2, 1”, and “hippo needs more food than cheetah”. No-one asked the child to preform, but the math learning simply had the opportunity to unfold naturally through their play. These were amazing opportunities for educators to observe and also enter into their play and push their math thinking forward.
We just love coloured rice, and in this hot water heater tray from Home Depot, the green grass (rice) really pops. We are always looking for ways to use materials we already have to bring new play experiences to our young learners. This small world zoo has proven to be a big hit!