After hearing some classroom discussion about treasure hunting, we created a treasure sensory box for the children to explore and play with.
The goal was to give them an opportunity to count objects, to build vocabulary about treasure, and to help them engage in role play. Quite often, however, the opportunities for learning exceed our expectations.
During our treasure sensory play, one child (“L”) discovered that if he placed a bead necklace on the floor and used his fingers to manipulate it, he could alter the shape of the necklace. After doing this for several moments, he excitedly exclaimed “Look, I made a bat!”
The treasure chest was set aside for a while as several children tried out “L”‘s new game.
L: I see an “X” and it has a heart on the end!
G: I made Mickey Mouse!
L: I made a mountain!
G: This is a dolphin.
M: I made a dolphin too!
The children eventually explored the treasure box some more and the goals I had originally set for this activity were achieved. The children counted the treasure objects, engaged in treasure role play, and used treasure based vocabulary. While it was exciting to see the children use the materials in the way that was expected and have an opportunity to gain skills from an intentional activity, it was the unexpected exploration of lines and shapes through a side game created by one of the children that became the most exciting part.
Submitted by: Katie Bach