This month the toddlers have shown great interest in dogs and puppies. It was quite apparent when we went for a walk in the neighborhood and saw a puppy walking by. The group shared lots of excitement during the experience - “Woof, woof” Callum shared as he pointed to the excited puppy. “It’s a puppy!” Bensyn and Bethany shouted, joining their peers in lots of excitement!
The toddlers have been exploring the dramatic play centre, using dogs to navigate their play and be inclusive of their peers. Georgia had a dog in one hand and was holding Malina’s hand in the other. I overheard Georgia ask Malina “Wanna go on a walk with us?” Malina smiled and shared “Yes!”, as they proceeded to walk around the classroom. I have also observed Gray, Felix and Lucas exploring with the toy dogs as well, each of the boys have pretended to feed and give water to the puppy. They shared a great understanding of well-being, and used their sense of imagination to explore throughout their play experiences individually and together.
We have also channeled our creative abilities by painting and drawing to explore different aspects of a dog. During these explorations, the toddlers shared their pieces with one another: “Look it's Brooky'' Logan expressed as he pointed to his picture, “Mine is Mack,'' James shared and “It’s Arthur,” Aoife stated with a smile. The toddlers shared their explorations and created meaningful connections with one another, sharing their pet dogs’ names. Ziad and Gray shared “This is Brooky too.” “I like Brooky”, Logan expressed as he observed his peers’ drawings. Their art experience created a sense of belonging and representation towards one another, as well as what they believe a dog looks like through their creativity.
When the toddlers explored using cookie cutter dog bones, they got the opportunity to observe the cause and effect of the different sized bones. “This is tiny,” Hunter shared as he placed the cookie cutter into his paint. “Mine is big” Hazel expressed as she held it up in the air. During this art experience we created a dialogue, asking the toddlers if they thought the dog bones would be for a big or small dog, creating an opportunity for an added teacher guided learning experience and shared their sense of imagination.
Lastly, when we go on walks around our neighbourhood or are on the playground, the toddlers love to use their observational skills and count how many dogs we can see - today we saw 6 dogs! The toddlers love to ask “Where are the puppies?” Georgia, Munir and Gray especially like to ask this. During one of our walks we saw a German shepherd pass by. Chloe expressed “He's cute,” as she smiled. While Felix and Iris shared “Bye puppy!” as they waved to the puppy passing by.
Also, just yesterday, we went for an adventure in our community looking for dog paw prints! The toddlers used a paper filled with different paw prints to use as reference to what we were looking for. Each of the toddlers examined their papers and right away shared “puppies!” During our walk we came across a variety of different paw prints, and the group would crouch down one at a time to take a look, “That's a puppy print!” Logan, Hunter and Munir shared. We continued to walk around our neighbourhood looking for more, and we came across a few dogs on our travels too - one of the owners even stopped and let us take a picture of her dog and gave us some information about her. This dog was a black lab named Daisy and she was 5 years old. We greeted Daisy from a distance by waving, smiling, and a few toddlers blew the dog a kiss. After a few moments, we said our goodbyes and all of the toddlers thanked Daisy and her owner for stopping. We began moving on when James shared “See you tomorrow Daisy.” Hunter and Georgia shared “Yeah see you tomorrow Daisy”. It was a sweet moment to observe the toddlers practicing their manners on their own and observing a sense of belonging together with someone in their community that helped us expand on our project about dogs.
If you have any dogs in your lives (real or stuffed animals), and would like to share a picture with us you can send them to Judy or Susan who will gladly print them out for us. We would love to post them in our classroom!