Project Work in the Infant Room - A Study of Light

As the infant room staff met together in September we decided we wanted to try a long term project with the infants.  One of our staff members had experience with project work while in University.  We decided to invite the infants to study, discover, wonder about, and experience, light.

 We have intentionally brought light into our room in various forms in the last six months.

We have several strings of Christmas tree lights that illuminate the entrance to our room.  They frame the bulletin board that holds communication between staff and parents.  They also surround the diaper changing station.  These lights are soft and we keep the main lights dimmed in the early morning so that the children are welcomed into our room gently.  There is also a string of lights on the mesh tent.

We have a tall floor lamp.

We have a light cord that is on the floor that the children can hold, pull, and manoeuvre.  It is warm, it is pliable, it shines on things, it is bright.

Even the youngest infants can learn about and experience light.

We have a spot light that is especially effective in the early morning while the room is still fairly dark.  It creates an interesting focal point and draws the children in to investigate.

We have flashlights that the children love to hold, turn on and off, and experiment with.  They do not have access to these all of the time, but it is fun to bring them out now and then as something special.

We also have an over-head projector.  The children have spent a lot of time with this.  Sometimes we put things on the glass surface, or sometimes we just enjoy the reflective light that shines so brightly.  The over-head projector was the main source of light we started our project with.  The children are all still very fascinated with it six months later and still want to touch all the parts of the machine.  We realized that we didn't have an ideal spot for the over-head projector in our main play area, so the idea of a Project Room was borne.  There was a small space available for us to use for our light work.  It is about 8' X 10".  There are generally no toys there, just the projector.  It is enough, I have noticed.  The children are still intrigued with the projector as a machine, the brightness of the light which they seem to want to catch or touch, the shadows that naturally occur when light is projected, and the effect of putting something onto the glass surface and how that is then reflected onto the wall.

Placing laminated snowflakes onto the glass surface.

Discovering the reflection!  

I will be posting some more of our Project Work.

If you are interested in learning more about Project Work, I found an in-depth but interesting article HERE.

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