Preparing for Project-based Afterschooling: Tadpoles

A week of activities for your children with Playful Matters Afterschooling Weekly Play Rhythm. This week we look at preparing for project-based afterschooling, an activity with the book of the week and introducing water colours.
Preparing for project-based afterschooling: Tadpoles

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September’s Afterschooling monthly activity planner is here! On the planner you will find five weeks of activities covering the book of the week, activity trays for the monthly block to project based learning. Then each week the planner is supported by our Afterschooling Weekly Play Rhythm detailing how to create and do the activity with your child. You will find the planner at the bottom of this post.

Monday is Story Day

It is Father’s Day here on Sunday, so our story this week is from Sebastien Braun I Love My Daddy. It is such a sweetly illustrated text that celebrates a day in the life of this Daddy Bear and cub. An awesome follow-up activity to this book is to create a child created story, using either photos or kid made illustrations and the simple text “My Daddy…”

Book of the Week: I Love My Daddy

Tuesday is Play Day

An invitation to play with chocolate cloud dough and our tea set. Hot chocolate anyone? 🙂

Tea party

Wednesday is Create Day

This week we brought out the water-colour paints and set up for using and learning about wet-on-wet water colours with a paint board. We learnt the story of Mr Brush washing his feet in the river and rinsing his feet in the creek before wiping them on the mat. I learnt this wonderful story from Amber of Happy Crafty Family in her book Creative Parenting for Fun.


Thursday is Discovery Day – Preparing for Project-based Afterschooling

Project: Tadpoles

Here’s the three Musketeers tadpole hunting. Our project-based learning has turned in the direction of studying tadpoles and how they turn into frogs. It came about quite simply during one of our afterschool nature walks when we came across a huge puddle. The kids spent the entire afternoon exploring the puddle and to their delight found lots of tadpoles. As we were completely unprepared for such a discovery, a plan was hatched to return to the puddle with a bucket and the intention to collect a few tadpoles to study at home.

Projects can start as simply and as quickly as this. By simply taking an interest in what they were doing and asking a few questions I can shape their learning. In this first phase of the project we are preparing for the topic they wish to study. My role is to ask what is needed and help to make a list. At home I assist in preparing a space for the study and gather the materials together to one dedicated area. But from here it must be self-directed and self managed. I hope in the coming weeks I can show you how we ensure this happens with 4-year-old learners and a 6-year-old learner.

Important note: You will notice on the Monthly Activity Plan that I have included Project Notes. As project-based learning is self-directed and self-managed I can only plan as far as what actions I can take to assist them in their project and these actions are not tied to any particular week. If I am doing the planning and making the choices, then this would be a topic study and not a project, and it is a very fine line.

Preparing for project-based afterschooling: Tadpoles

Friday is Learn Day

This month our curriculum block is focused on Language. We are beginning with some preparation for Reading and Writing activity trays.

Sensorial Activity Tray – Sorting Fruit by colour or by fruit type

Sorting Fruit Activity TrayPractical Life – Teddy Bear Pattern (ABAB pattern)ABAB Teddy Bear Patterning Activity TrayPractical Life – Matching Pictures
Matching Pictures Activity TrayPractical Life – Bead Stringing
Beading Activity Tray

Saturday is Game Day

Chook loves playing games! This week alone we have played Snakes and Ladders, Memory and now Uno!

Game Uno

Sunday is Nature Adventurers

A few days later we returned to the puddle and began tadpole hunting in earnest. Our luck wasn’t as good as it was the first time we discovered the puddle but we did manage to catch one.

Preparing for project-based afterschooling: TadpolesWe’ve brought this little guy home and set him up in an aquarium partially filled with rain water to observe him over the next few weeks as he changes into a frog. Chook was curious about what to feed the tadpole and as this is his project I asked him where we could go to find out. He suggested the Pet Shop, so the next day we visited the local pet shop and bought some fish flakes. The Pet Shop owner was fantastic with the kids and suggested that Chook only give the tadpole a small amount of food, as too much will slow its growth down.
Preparing for project-based afterschooling: Tadpoles

The kids are loving their tadpole project and I’ve recorded some great questions and conversations using the voice recording app on my iPhone. I’m excited to share with you the direction our project-based learning goes in over the next few weeks.

Join us at playfulmatters on instagram, for more Weekly Play Rhythm ideas and activities.

Yours in play,

Download your September Activity Plan here!

September Monthly Activity Plan

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