February 28, 2012

Rose Flower Garden Restaurant!

Rose Flower Garden Restaurant!
Rose Flower Garden Restaurant!
Rose Flower Garden Restaurant!

We just concluded an incredibly exciting emergent project on restaurants! The project began one morning when a group of children created a restaurant in the dramatic play center of the Sun Room. The interest continued and grew, and the teachers quickly began to discuss restaurants with the children and begin planning a full-scale project! We talked about different kinds of restaurants, and decided we wanted to have our own. We planned the food we'd like to eat, who we'd invite (parents and family members), and brainstormed restaurant names. We voted and found that the Rose Flower Garden Restaurant had the most votes, just barely beating the Kitty Litter Restaurant (phew!!). Stories like Mean Soup, Stone Pizza, Stone Soup, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and Eating through the Alphabet filled our shelves and story times, and we enjoyed songs about cooking and baking too, like Cookie Bakers of the Night and On Top of Spaghetti. Next, we realized there was still a lot to learn about how real restaurants work...so some research was in order! A visit to Red Robin gave us the chance to see the kitchen, talk to restaurant employees, and consider how we wanted our own restaurant to play out. Back at preschool, we were blessed by family members who came in to cook with us, teaching us how to make meatballs and brownies, and leaving the entire building smelling delicious! We chopped up ingredients for our very own Stone Pizza and Mean Soup and practiced lots of measuring, pouring, and mixing skills in the process! Children used lots of writing to create their own menus and practiced taking orders. The day of the restaurant itself, the kids set up the room -- setting tables and practicing all the hard work of preparing for a meal -- and then seated their families and took order. Lots of great math skills were utilized as children added up the cost of their families' meals, worked at the cash register, and made change! All in all, we were so blessed by the enthusiasm and excitement of this project -- from teachers, students, and particularly from our wonderful families, who were so patient and so willing to participate in so many aspects of this truly emergent project!