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In the Classroom: The Caterpillars

Exploring Light and Color

 
This month, the children in the infant and toddler classes at PIC are exploring light and color. Light, shadow, and color permeates everything we see and captures children’s interest from the earliest moments of infancy. Our intention in the classroom is to give the children hands-on opportunities to observe, manipulate, and play with these fundamental characteristics of their world.  
 
In the Caterpillar room, children have watched drops of liquid watercolor tint water in the water table and have helped knead color into white play dough. They have shone flashlights around the room, watching beams of light travel across the ceiling as they move their arms, and noticing the way different objects are illuminated as the light rests on them.  
 
Whether it is the young infant who stares with fascination at his own reflection or the one year old who laughs in delight as she puts a colored scarf over her head and sees the familiar world in a new way, explorations with light, color, reflectivity, transparency, and shadow stimulate curiosity and discovery in young children. 
 
An environment that offers the youngest children opportunities to engage with materials that reflect the complexity of the world around them - not just toys that are red, yellow, blue, but materials in different shades of yellow, different shades of blue - invites a deeper exploration.  
 
One of the joys of spending time with young children is the way they encourage us to see the world with new eyes. This month take some time to share your child’s surprise as they notice the twinkling of lights in the neighborhood, the way a candle flame seems to dance, their reflection in a puddle. Taking a moment to slow down and share that moment of discovery is one of the greatest gifts we can give to children and ourselves.