Monday, October 8, 2012

{Playing Through Autumn Day 18} Autumn Discovery Basket

Discovery baskets (or bins) are fantastic for open-ended play: just fill up a basket with any number of materials and present them to a child - she'll take it from there! I have been having a lot of fun presenting L with various discovery bins over the past several months, and of course I couldn't let autumn pass me by without letting her get her hands on some of the best things the season has to offer: in this case, miniature pumpkins, gourds, and fabulous red Indian corn.

I decided to put the items in a wicker basket rather than a plastic bin (which I typically use) to carry on the natural feel of the gourds and corn. Actually, L had helped me pick these things out at the market a couple of days before we did this activity, and she was so surprised and happy to see everything again!

She especially loved the corn - we talked about the bumpy texture and the crinkly stalk. She even tickled my nose with it!

After the initial exploration, L took emptying and refilling the basket with all of the items. She has been very into counting lately, so I used the opportunity to work on counting with her, using one-to-one correspondence.

As the activity began to wind down, we also learned something new about gourds: if you drop them, they bounce!

We both loved this activity! It was so simple and yet presented us with so many opportunities for language, math concepts, and sensory experiences. 

Have your kiddos had a chance to experience some of these fall items? What else would you add to your own discovery basket?

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