Our Programs

Learning Lab

Learning Lab

Wilmington Friends is excited to share a free program each Thursday for children 18-36 months and their parents/caregivers. While we are all at home doing our part in the fight against COVID-19 and engaged in remote learning, we are pleased to offer Learning Lab activities for you to try at home.

The Learning Lab is taught by WFS preschool and pre-kindergarten Music and Movement teacher Liza Conces. Liza has been a teacher and teacher trainer in Early Childhood Education for 15 years. Her focus is on play-based learning and joyful exploration for both children and parents/caregivers.
 
Learning Lab - Try at Home Activities
Hello dear Learning Lab friends (old and new)!
 
I am thinking about you and hoping your families are well during our time at home.  My first thought is to reassure you that your children's learning will be absolutely fine this spring without formal schooling.  Learning through play is what children do best!  Read, play outside, build blanket forts, dig in the spring earth, spend an hour in the bathtub, take walks.  That is enough.  truly!  However, if you are looking for new ideas, here are two thought starters for the week:
 
1. Build a Tactile Box:
We don't need a permanent piece of furniture in our homes for tactile play.  For cost and portability, I prefer to use a plastic under-bed bin that can be stored away under the couch or in a closet. And, if the bin is on the floor, we can explore it with our toes and feet as well as our hands.  Great for sensory integration. 
 
Filling: when you inventoried your pantry, did you find any expired boxes of pasta, dry beans, or rice?  Perfect for your tactile bin!  Other fillers could be dry oats, pompoms, Easter grass, Orbeez (water beads on Amazon), sand, soil.  There are lots of creative ideas online for tactile table fillers, but at this age, most ones and twos enjoy emptying and filling.  Don't worry about creating an imaginative playscape.  Allow this be about sensory stimulation and processing.
 
Diggers: cups, shells, shovels, toy trucks, paper towel tubes, spoons, tongs, sieves, plastic eggs, tiny boxes.
 
When my own kids were young, I stored the tactile box in the bottom of the pantry.  I would pull it out onto the kitchen floor while I cooked to give my kids something focused to do below the heat, but where I could see them.  Once dinner was ready, we would sweep up the mess, put the lid on the box, and tuck it away for the next evening.  
 
2. Make an Egg Shaker for Music Fun
Check out a video of me making egg shakers with plastic Easter eggs.
 
Have a great week!  May happiness follow you everywhere <3



For additional activities and ideas, for all ages, visit our Fridays with Friends page.