This week something amazingly exciting will take place at LANK! It is a learning adventure that our LANK alums remember and our current preschoolers wait for with increasing anticipation. Rent a Coop in Maryland will deliver two baby chicks and six eggs along with an incubator and brooder to LANK. We will welcome and house our feathered friends on a shelf in the five day area where most of our preschoolers pass by on the way to the playground.
When we embarked on this unit four years ago we did so knowing that hands on learning is always the best way for young children to explore and make discoveries. Children need to use their five senses for active learning, and this experience allows children to see, hear, and touch as they play with the fluffy babies and await the 21 day cycle for new chicks to be born. But more importantly, waiting for the chicks to emerge from their shells teaches patience, perseverance and care. Every year I am amazed at the gentle handling of the baby chicks, the “look with your eyes only” mantra the children follow while glancing at the incubator, the careful counting that is done while awaiting the 21 days for the chicks to hatch, and the bonding that occurs by naming the pair of chicks. In the past, we’ve welcomed “Salt and Pepper”, “Peanut Butter and Jelly”, and” Lemon and Chocolate” to our school building. By naming the chicks we ensure connection, and establish a sense of importance to their care and to the learning taking place.
We are certain that the next few weeks will bring lots of discussion at home about how our chicks are growing, and what is happening inside the incubated eggs. Our preschoolers will be marveling at the wonder of life, and we will be celebrating with enthusiasm alongside them!