The Early Childhood Education Centers across HFH shelters have been expanding their wisdom of wardrobes during a recent Clothing Study—part of NYC Public Schools Early Childhood Education Creative Curriculum.
“Our goal is to find out what the students already know about clothes and expand their knowledge based on their curiosity,” said Rafaela Bruno, Director of Early Childhood Education at Prospect Family Residence. “From an early age, children are curious about clothes. As infants they used their five senses to understand this thing their parents put on them every day since birth. Now, as 3K and Pre-K students, they are exploring language and developing their phonological awareness skills.”
The little learners made connections between the clothes they wore every day and the changing weather outside. They also had the opportunity to share about the cultural clothes from their countries. Each week, students explored questions relating to clothing, including “Why do people wear clothes?” and “What types of different clothes are there?” and practiced identifying clothing worn in different professions.
“Mira es por el fuego! (Look! It’s for the fire),” one student at Prospect said to identify a firefighter’s uniform.
“A police for the people,” another student said about the police uniform.
In addition to their discussions, the kids engaged in various hands-on activities, from washing clothes at the water table and hanging clothes on the clothesline in the dramatic play area to “sewing” mittens and creating clothing out of different materials to dress outlines of themselves. They added a playful touch by building a play washing machine out of a cardboard box to incorporate into the dramatic play area—with a coin slot, opening door, and all!
This study not only provided a fun way for the kids to learn about clothes but also nurtured creativity through imaginative play, helped them develop essential language skills, and taught them practical task skills.