In early July, we had a visit from our expert, Polly Guy. Polly’s daughter, Ava, graduated our program in May. Polly’s pregnancy was what began our interest in babies and so the children were thrilled to have a visit from our old friend Ava as well as her new addition to her family. Lily was about six weeks old at the time of her visit. The children were excited to see Lily and began by only watching her as she moved. The children watched as Lily moved, cooed, and cried! They then started to ask questions.
The Leapfrogs had several questions that they wanted answered. We also observed and even had a chance to touch her. Some children held her hand, others touched her skin, and others felt her little toes. The children were excited when even Kara and Mahi got to hold Lily. The children started to squeeze in to get a closer look at Lily in our hands. Some questions were:
•How do you dress babies?
•How do babies eat?
•Why do babies cry?
•Can boys have babies?
•Why do babies wear diapers?
•Can Lily crawl? Walk?
•Do you have a diaper bag and what’s in it?
•Why do you have to burp babies?
•Do babies eat a lot?
•Do babies spit up?
After asking all of our questions, we prepared to go outside. We meet the Guy family outside to watch what Lily’s car seat looked like and how
everything worked. Polly graciously moved her car so that we could see the infant seat, the mirror she used to watch Lily, and the base. She then pulled out the stroller and taught us how it folded and unfolded. She then taught us by showing us how to attach the car seat to the stroller.After Polly’s visit, the children discussed everything at lunch. Addi (3.4) tells Mahi, “My baby Anni has a stroller. On her stroller is a canopy! Just like our baby seat! The bouncer too!” Keegan (4.2) shares, “all infant seats need a base. The man in the video said you can turn the baby seat at one year old. We should write that down somewhere.”
We spent about two weeks investigating both an Infant and a Toddler Car seat. Below are anecdotes from our investigations. We began with the infant car seat where Avery (4.11) shows Madison (3.6) how to put a baby in the car seat and put her seat belt on. She explains to her it is important to put the baby in the car seat so that the baby keeps safe.
Aidan (5.0) sketches a drawing of the car seat. He labels to Mahi who writes the strap, the place for that babies feet, the handle, and the hood of the infant car seat. He then uses the word wall to write the word baby. He identifies each letter as he writes it. He then asks Mahi to add car seat to the word wall.
Lydia (3.9) copies the word Adjuster Strap to label the infant car seat. Madison (3.6) uses scribbles and shapes to document the word strap. The girls help Mahi identify each part of the car seat as they look at a diagram. Drake (3.8) tells Mahi one morning, “This is called a car seat,” he says bring the car seat over. He then puts the car seat in the base. “The base goes in the car. If you want to carry it to the car you have to put the canopy up so sun does not get in the baby’s eyes. Then you need to hold the handle.”
Makayla (5.9) creates a car seat out of clay. She has placed the car seat behind her as a guide for her creation.
Nolan (4.9) measures and counts the inches on the ruler. Elisabeth (4.10) tells Nolan, “Don’t forget that you need to start at zero to measure.” Alex (5.2) measures the width of the car seat. The children then asked Mahi to write down the measurements on chart paper. Elisabeth (4.10) takes over the documenting as Alex (5.2) shows Elisabeth the number thirty-six.
These activities and thought processes were made possible through our project work. We have writing materials, clay, measurement tools, and the real items from our project available to the children for this investigation to take place. The teachers and staff ask open ended questions and we encourage the children to find the answer instead of giving them the information.