In the Classroom: The Doodlebugs

Doodlebugs learning through play

Manipulative play

The Doodlebugs are exploring new and familiar materials through manipulative play. Over the last few weeks we have been exploring objects, such as lego shapes, puzzles, magnets, small shovels and stacking cups.
Our current Doodlebugs are children six months to two years old. This diverse age range provides many play experiences for our little Doodlebugs to explore while engaging with friends and teachers. Almost everything we shared with the children sparked their interests and extending their learning through play. 
Our younger Doodlebugs explored tummy time while reaching for soft puzzles and grasping. One Doodlebug rolled on the floor and squeezed the shapes. The experience provided her with the opportunity to feel the texture of the puzzle while moving her body, and the freedom to explore with support from her teacher.
The teachers introduced smaller lego shapes to the young toddlers. The children had the opportunity to share space with their friends and work together to build on the lego table. During this play, we talked with the children about pressing down very hard to help the lego stay on the surface and we used language to express what the children were doing. One child stacked the legos and said “whoa.” 
While playing with manipulatives, the Doodlebugs are learning about size, shape, and weight. They are building early math skills by learning about sorting, patterns, and sequences, while comparing and contrasting materials. Manipulative play also develops the muscles in hands, fingers, and arms. 
Not only is manipulative play fun for the infants and young toddlers, it has many brain development benefits as well. We are having big fun while learning through play.