We never know what will happen with open-ended materials. These simple felt squares have taken on many uses:
9/20: When Thomas, Kyla, Travers and Amelia are making “sleeping spots” the felt squares are used as pillows and blankies.
9/28: Kaya arranges them on the felt wall to represent his neighborhood: This is my home. That’s called Lincoln. How about this green one? That’s someone’s house. That’s our neighbor’s house. (How about the yellow one?) That’s our other neighbor’s house. How about this purple one? That’s Saige’s house. (Saige is nearby and Kaya points to her). As Mark asks about the other squares, Kaya identifies children in the room, explaining that they belong to them: Sam’s house, Luca’s house, Caroline’s house.
10/3: Kyla brings the felt squares over to the block table and hands some to Ian, saying, “I wanted to do a puppet show with him”. Ian takes them but then gives them to Diane, indicating that he wanted to keep working on his block tower. Diane brings the felt over to Kyla who is back at the felt board and tells her that Ian wants to stay with his blocks. Kyla takes the black felt, This will be a bat. And this…those (3 brown felt) will be a brown bears and this (white) will be a black sheep. She looks at her pile, repeating: bat, brown bears and looks again at white felt, and those will be a black…a white sheep. We need some plastic out of making things. We need to draw a list. We need to draw a list on this hard part. Amelia watches. Kyla tells her I just draw a O. Puppet show.
10/17: Sam arranges them as “placemats” for a “meeting”, like our rug squares. Other children like this idea and sit down for meeting!
10/18: Caroline dresses her bunny with a felt square “dress.”
10/18, cont’d: Caroline arranges the squares in pairs. As she does, she looks at them with a magnifying glass. Travers, sitting on the stage, asks, Why is it meeting time right there? Diane repeats Travers’ comment and Caroline doesn’t respond. She continues putting the squares down and moving them. They are mostly in a circle now. Kaya comes over, and Caroline explains, This is a bunny bed. Kaya sits on a square, and Caroline objects, That’s Mark’s mat. When she leaves to ask Sam, Have you seen my bunny?, Kaya sits down on the square again. She asks Travers, too. Finally she finds her bunny. She gets diverted with something else, but meanwhile, Cal has found some squares that Caroline dropped and adds them to her circle. He announces, It’s meeting time! and points to the felt squares. And the arrangement is left, as he, Caroline and Kaya have gone off to other plays. After a bit, Sam rearranges the squares.
Later, Kyla gathers up the squares and says she wants to make a puppet show, and Travers says he wants to, too. They place squares on the big felt wall, counting them, and finding all the blank spaces and covering them up. (Often, “putting on a show” at this age can mean setting a scene but not acting anything out.)
10/19: Early on, Caroline arranges the squares in a circle as Amelia watches with interest, then Caroline makes a general announcement (inaudible; perhaps announcing meeting time).
Lincoln Nursery School is a non-sectarian, non-profit, cooperative nursery school, serving 60 children ages 2.9 to 6 years old. Our community is composed of families from many surrounding towns.
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