Today was a play date for all the new children that are enrolled in Bright Beginnings for the 2014-2015 school year. We still have nine children here in our summer program. Eight of them will be moving on to kindergarten. After breakfast and a little play time inside this morning I sat them all down to talk about what would happen today. Fifteen new children that are smaller and might even be a little scared will be coming to visit and see our school. You could tell by the looks on some of their faces they werent too sure about what was happening. I went further to explain that they werent leaving TODAY and that kindergarten was going to be very exciting for them. The older children made ” Welcome to our School ” cards for our visitors.
As each child arrived part of our school family would go up and hand them a card and say ” Hello .” Sometimes both children were timid, the givers and the receivers . Most children came in and were excited to be here and played and explored our out door classroom.
One of the children’s favorite areas was the mud kitchen. They loved it ! Some of the children never left that area. Is it messy? Yes! Wearing white anything here is a bad idea. This is a great reminder to find some junk clothes and wear them to school so the child doesnt have to worry about staying clean and you aren’t discouraged when you pick up . Did you see how the children had to cooperate to work in that area ? Did you see the problem solving as they moved the water from one area to another ? Did you noticed the concentration as they poured water from the pitcher to a bowl ? There is so much learning that takes place in this area . We dont want to stop that learning just because our clothes will get ruined.
Another area that has dirt is the dirt pit. The children love to dig and pretend in this area. WIll be have more dirt and Randy will till it so it is easier to work with before school starts.
We have real tools and balls and blocks and other yard games. We even bring special toys out from time to time.
I really had a sense of peace about all of the children here today. Was it perfect ? No. If you put this many children in one space with new things there are bound to be a few struggles. I am sure as you listened as we worked through those situations you heard things like ” I can see something happened” or ” He hit you . Did you like it ?” or ” Its Ok to tell them not to take your toys.. repeat after me.” or even ” You took his toy. You wanted to play with it. You may ask him if you can have it when he is finished playing.” Even today on a play date, Dallas and I were practicing conscious discipline. Teaching children ways to deal with their friends and the frustrations of being in a group and sharing and getting along is paramount. This is our job. This is why you are here. Sure, we will read. We will learn colors and shapes and sing songs but the most important thing we will learn is self confidence and self regulation. Did you happen to notice how well the older children adapted to the new children in the group and how few conflicts we had ? Most of them have had two years of conscious discipline and are pros. Your child will get there too. I saw worried looks on mom’s faces as situations came up. Everyone wants their child to put their best foot forward when meeting new people. They did ! I am very excited about our new group . If they came with all the skills needed to be successful you wouldnt need us. I mean seriously, at 48 I am still working on self regulation. Something I say over and over is ” These children have only been on this earth for 36 months or a little more. Give them a break. They are learning. ” I can promise you that if your child gets overly excited and is sometimes seen as mean or pushy we look at him with good intentions. We know he doesnt mean to hurt that he just isnt sure how to handle what is happening and we will help him. If your child is one of the children that is quiet and sometimes gets pushed aside or has toys taken away, we will teach her that she has a big voice and it is ok to say ” You can not take my toys away. ” Preschool is learning . We are helping set the foundation for your child about how he will treat others and how he will allow them to treat him.
We read our first story as a group today. Did you notice how still and quiet everyone was ? Granted they had popcicles to occupy their mouth and hands. 🙂 This was a group with 18 children in it. Our normal groups have 8 in them.
I am so very excited about the new school year and getting to know you and your families better. Over the next two weeks before school starts back it would be a great idea to talk about today. Look at the pictures and ask your child to recall things he did while he was here. Ask him does he remember my name or any of the other children’s names. Having conversations frequently will keep their little minds ready and excited for our first day on August 20th. If you have had a busy summer with a lot of late nights you might want to consider getting into your school schedule of an earlier bed time. Did you know children this age require 10-12 hours of sleep a day?
Thanks for a great play date. It made me heart smile to see the moms already bonding and the little ones having so much fun. See you soon !