Featured Project: Investigating Nature’s Floor

The children of our Toddler A class demonstrated an interest in observing the different elements of nature while outside. To promote this interest, we began collecting materials outdoors and bringing them into the room. We investigated their colors, sizes and textures.

Could the children create simple patterns and designs? We used visual inspiration of mandalas and then encouraged children to create their own.

When collecting our mandala materials, we found that the children loved digging in and sifting through the dirt. We discovered so many varying colors and textures within this simple element.

Children used magnifying glasses and sheets to look more in depth at the ground. We chose to follow this interest and investigate the many types of dirt, soil, sod, etc.

How are these elements used for growth? How can we add other natural elements, such as water, to change the consistency of the dirt? We created canvases with mud paint.

We looked at layers of the earth and created a bin for investigation and learning with the natural materials. We have loved seeing the art pieces children have created during their investigative process.

 

Featured Teacher: Caitlin Baney | Lead Teacher | Park West

As a social work major, Caitlin has always had an interest in working with children. She first heard of Children’s Discovery Center through family friends whose children attended CDC and knew it was exactly where she wanted to use her gifts and love for kids.



Caitlin’s favorite part about working at CDC is the collaborative and welcoming atmosphere. She enjoys the use of the Reggio Emilia philosophy and says that the use of natural materials is one of the things she loves most about the various classroom projects at CDC. She also loves that children get to use their own unique vision with the learning process.



When asked what her most rewarding experience has been here at CDC, she said, “My relationship with the children is what keeps me energized and devoted here at CDC. They warm my heart each day.”



Caitlin’s favorite thing to do with the students is exploring their creativity and expanding their knowledge through the use of new tools or materials.



Her life motto is, “Live every day to the fullest because you are never guaranteed another day.”



Caitlin was born and raised in Mount Pleasant and enjoys spending her time outdoors at local spots like Shem Creek or horseback riding. She has a huskie named Koda who loves the outdoors just as much as she does. Another fun fact about Caitlin? She has a fraternal twin sister who also lives here in the Lowcountry!