ICS Early Years Center Blog

Inter-Community School Zurich, Switzerland

March 31, 2014
by Rebecca Smith

Early Years Mud Kitchen


With the Spring weather having arrived here in Switzerland, we’ve finally had a chance to get dirty in the Early Years Mud Kitchen.

We collected donated pots, pans and crockery to stock our kitchen. Our School Caretakers helped us attach the wall racks for hanging equipment on and to arrange the wooden benches to make lots of spaces for us to work in.

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“I cooking ice cream. I take chocolate and sand to (make) chocolate ice cream.” Wille

I cooking. Chocolate cookies. So many. So yucky! Then yum yum yum (pretended to eat). ” Diego

I’m making cupcakes.” Molly

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Our next job is to plant herbs in the surrounding gardens and in pots. We hope that the herbs will arouse our senses further and enhance our potion concoctions and muddy cupcake, chocolate cookie and ice cream mixes.

For more information about creating a Mud Kitchen visit Muddy Faces here.



Herbs planted by EY2 FA.

Photographs by Rebecca Smith (EY Teacher ICS)

March 3, 2014
by Rebecca Smith

Waldkinder: Explorations in the Forest


Each week we visit the forest by our school for our Waldkinder, or ‘forest children’ explorations.


This week it felt as if the winter had melted away. We spent a perfect morning exploring an area of the forest that we had not visited before. There were tall trees and a rushing stream. The children experimented with ‘force’ by floating leaves and holding sticks in the flowing water. We collected big sticks and worked together to carry them. We dragged the sticks through the squelchy mud to make marks. 

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Some children recalled previous experiences that we’ve had in the forest. They collected sticks and built ‘fires’.


In our ‘Sharing The Planet’ Unit of Inquiry we are wondering about how animals and humans interact. On this day we searched for animals and insects in the forest. We found some earthworms in the soil by the stream. We are now planning to research to find out more about worms.

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Photographs by Rebecca Smith (ICS EY1 Teacher)


May 27, 2013
by Rebecca Smith

A Provocation for Exploring Our Senses

How Do We Use Our Senses in Play?


Upon arriving to the classroom one morning the children were presented with a provocation;

A tray filled with empty glass jars, a jug of water, coloured food dyes and metal spoons

What should we do with this?

Can I pour water in?

Whaooaa …. Look!!! Whoosshhh!!

More, more, more … now it’s your turn (to pour.)

The children began by pouring water from the jug into the jars. It was exciting to change the amount of water in each jar, they observed the rise of the water levels with their sense of sight. The children took turns to pour more and more water into each jar. When adding water to the jars, the sense of hearing was active as we listened to the water gurgle as it was poured in, mix and drops splash out.

P1030112P1030149Next we added some coloured food dye to the water in the jars. With our sense of sight we watched the drops of the coloured liquid mix and swirl to slowly spread through all of the water in each jar. The children used the metal spoons to stir the water.

The children concentrated intently, spending much time and effort to transfer the water, teaspoon by teaspoon, between the jars. This action required that the children’s sense of sight and sense of touch to work in combination together. The children observed the changing colours as they added and mixed in water from the different jars. Observing the changes in the colours and level of the water required the use of the sense of sight.P1030125P1030154

The children used their sense of hearing when stirring and tapping the jars with the metal spoons. We discovered that we could make music together by knocking the jars as they each made a different.

Throughout the play episode the teachers asked the children to identify which senses they were using.

Click this link to view a short movie of us in action exploring and experimenting by using our senses with these materials.

Password: 4eyparents



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