The Whole Child
Growing Minds:
abc's of child development
For parents
for early care providers

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Observational activity
1) Create a set of activities for children that encourage each of the following mental abilities: grouping, matching, common relations, temporal ordering, seriation and cause and effect.
2) Each activity must have enough material for six children to participate.
3) Make a storage box for each activity. Make these boxes neat looking because they will be sitting out on a shelf.
4) Make a description card to go with each activity which includes:
a) The name of the activity and which mental ability it is intended for and a definition of the ability.
b) A description of how you would present it to make it fun for the children to use. It is very important to present these materials in an appealing way.
c) A description of how you would present it to 2 year olds and how you would present it to 4 year olds. That is, the description card should explain how to make the activity simple and easy and how to make it more challenging.
d) An explanation of why this mental ability is a useful "preacademic" skill for children to acquire.

Activities for the classroom
One of the 3-year-olds in your room notices some bird tracks in the snow when the children go out to play. Suggest some spontaneous activities you could do with her that would encourage her to interact with the snow and to investigate further how the bird tracks were made. Now demonstrate that you understand the difference DeVries and Kohlberg draw between active involvement and more passive interest by suggesting a couple of things you could do that would cause the child to not take action herself.

On that same snowy day, the children are fascinated with the snow itself because it's the first snow of winter. What are some activities you could do with them that would provide some learning while remaining real fun for the children? Be sure to identify what the children would be learning and why you think they will enjoy the experiences.

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