We have been fascinated by the skins of a snake and tarantula that one of the children brought in for us to look at in pre-school. The reptile and insect belong to the grandparents of one of our children.
The children were absolutely fascinated by these, we talked about the animals that the skins had come off and looked at pictures of them in their natural habitat, and the children were very inquisitive, used their imaginations and demonstrated their desire to learn. This led to lots of interesting questions being asked which included.
“Why do snakes skins come off?”
“What happens to the skin when it comes off?”
Later on that morning the children were still fascinated and continued to ask lots of questions about how long the skin was. Using our large wooden snake, the skin from the snake and a tape measure to find out how long the skin was. This supported mathematical skills, and prompted lots of “wows” from the children as the skin stretched across the length of the table. The children could see the length of the snake compared to the length of the table – this supported the visual learning style of some of the children too.
We then looked at the skin from the tarantula, looking at the picture of it gave the children a visual idea to what this spider would look like in ‘real life’. Again we used our toy spiders to compare the sizes of the spiders.