Rockin' music from the 1950s filled two classrooms at Louis L’Amour Elementary on Tuesday, Nov. 5, as 40 kindergartners from two schools played together in a way that still involved learning.
Heather Tomlin-Rohr, kindergarten teacher at Louis L’Amour, said she’s held the activity for 18 years with teachers from Washington Elementary School and this year Jenna Newman, a new kindergarten teacher at Washington, brought kindergartners to Louis L’Amour to participate.
“It’s our 50th day of school and I think it’s important for children to know how things were different, you know the then and now,” said Tomlin-Rohr. “We’ve done a lot of work this week talking about one-room school houses, chalkboards versus now we have SMART Boards and whiteboards.”
The children were encouraged to dress in '50s attire for the day. They spent time at six stations in the morning and six stations in the afternoon.
They played with Etch A Sketch, assembled pieces on Mr. Potato Head and transferred newspaper words onto Silly Putty. They moved Slinkys and yo-yos up and down and picked out pieces of candy that were made in the 1950s to take home along with their 1950s glasses.
“I try to make it different (each year),” Tomlin-Rohr said. She looks at antique stores and garage sales to find toys from the 1950s to bring to school for the event.
“It’s exciting, my kids were very excited to come over here,” Newman said. “They’re learning about what the ’50s were like.”
More activities followed in the afternoon, including hopscotch, bowling, dancing at the Sock Hop, hula hoops, blowing bubbles (gum) and photo poses, which were capped off with an old-fashioned Soda Shop from the 1950s that featured root beer floats, potato chips and Oreo cookies, treats that originated in that time period, Tomlin-Rohr said.
The play is not just play, she said.
“They’re still learning, they’re all actively engaged and I think that’s the important thing ...,” Tomlin-Rohr said.
Play also teaches cooperation, taking turns and problem-solving skills, she said.
They’re so excited and engaged in what they’re doing,” Newman said.