• Tearri Rivers

Playfully Learning Through Stories: The Lion and The Beetle

Updated: Apr 4

Each week our curriculum, Experience Toddler provides a new book. We have built quite a nice book collection from Experience Early Learning. The first week of January our story was The Lion and the Beetle an African Folk Story, Retold by Leslie Falconer. The story was about a young lion who was happy to discover that he could wear a crown like his dad and have other animals bow to him, however the young lion found out that it was more fun to play and laugh with his animal friends then to have them bow to him.

In the Dramatic Play area we added royal props. We practiced taking turns while sharing the tiara and crown. There is a song on the CD that comes with Experience Toddler that focuses on social skills. January's song was "Take Turns". We role played taking turns following the song lyrics. So much fun!

A huge part of how we begin our day comes from Experience Early Learning giving us the tools and ideas to set up Discovery Tables. The discovery table ideas deserve a blog post of it's own, so more about that later. There are ideas to add materials to the various interest centers you may have available for open ended play in the Teacher Guides. Royal clothes being added to the dramatic play area was a suggestion from the lesson plan guide.

The lesson plan guide has activities that are focused in four categories; language & literacy, math & reasoning, music & movement, and art & drama.

1. Sticker Art

After our first reading of The Lion and the Beetle the children practiced using their pincer grip while placing stickers of the story characters inside the frame. All materials for this activity was included in the Experience Toddler curriculum.

2. Dough Play

The jewels also came with this week's supplies for each child. The " Lion Jewels" were sorted by shapes, and also hidden inside play doh for the children to find.

3. Castle Building

We added small blocks to the Block Area and pictures of real castles, as suggested in the lesson plan guide. It inspired castle building for days.

And den making for lion families.

The children also learned real facts about beetles while playing at the sensory table.

The photos of different beetles really attracted the children to the sensory table.They collaged oval shapes and made beetle designs with crayons.

We also added photos of real lion/lioness, and lion cubs in the library area as suggested in the lesson plan guide.

Every time I add the materials and photos to the areas as suggested by Experience Early Learning it turns out to become a new favorite area for the kiddos.

Story character pieces were played with at the sensory table too.

4. Lion Mask

We looked at various pictures of lion's manes before and while painting their own lion masks using a paintbrush.

They used pom poms as paint stamps to create the letter L.

I took pictures of their roaring faces while they played with their masks and used those pictures to hang their paper masks on top of to display their work.

5. Communication Signs

With every new story we learn new communications signs for the Lion and the Beetle the signs were lion and bug. I always look forward to seeing what our new themed story will be for the week and what the communication signs will be. I too, learn right beside the children when learning the communication signs, and I am grateful that we can depend on the Music & Movement lessons that Experience Early Learning provides that go along with stories for fun practice.

As an Experience Early Learning Blogger, I receive the Experience Early Learning Preschool curriculum in exchange for my honest and authentic experiences. As always, my opinions are 100% my own. #preschool #familychildcare #EELblogger

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 Lansing ,MI