Cultivate Wonder

Exploring Science with Children

Would you like to live in a treehouse?

At the Books & Blocks program at Westerville Library, we explored treehouses.

jackjilltreehouseWe read Jack and Jill’s Treehouse by Pamela Duncan Edwards (HarperCollins, 2008), which is written in a cumulative “house that Jack built” style.

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Then we read part of Adventure Homes by Gerry Bailey (Crabtree, 2013) which has a great outline of the structure of a treehouse, and includes information and photographs of the Korawai and Kombai people of Papua New Guinea, who are known as “the tree people” because they build their houses high in the forest trees.

Afterwards, the children built with a variety of materials: wooden blocks, legos, magnetic blocks and large cardboard bricks.

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They also used ramps and balls, envisioning having slides to descend from the treehouse.

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Books & Blocks: Castles

The Books & Blocks program at Westerville Public Library is fun, simple, and engaging. We start by reading a book or two, singing a song and moving around, and then build! With wooden blocks, legos, or other materials. Last week we explored castles (though children are free to build anything they want.)

Book: Mr. King’s Castle by Geneviève Côté

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Book: Castle: How it Works by David Macaulay

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Song: “Up Goes the Castle”, from Sesame Street

In the photos below, you can see one child building a castle with an outer wall, central keep, and four watchtowers, just as Macaulay describes in Castle.

“Up Goes the Castle” is a wonderful, quiet (and silly) song where the castle is on your stomach! The children are lying down with their hands making the castle on their stomach — as the breath out, the castle goes down; breathe in, the castle goes up. Great for a program like yoga tales as well. I was delighted at how well a quiet song worked in a preschool storytime.

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