This is the time of year that you start seeing more ” kindergarten ” games. In kindergarten there is less playing and more working. We work here but it just looks different. Though I still cling to my beliefs at what I feel is appropriate for young children at 5 years old I am not in charge . I will not start treating my preschoolers like older kids when I know it is not developmentally appropriate. I asked a colleague what I ” can ” to ensure that my children are ready for what kindergarten looks like now. Imagine being in a playbased setting and then being told to sit down for an hour a time and color in the lines when your whole life your teacher didnt care if you colored outside of the lines. She was only concerned with whether you liked what you did and if you tried your best. Trying your best looks different to everyone. Example : When a child colors a page and colors a dog green some teachers would not consider that ” a students best ” because well… we know there is no such things as a green dog. But, is it wrong ? What would the world be without the creative minds that are willing to be the one that colors a green dog ?
Opps… got on my soapbox.
So, today the older children who will be going to kindergarten played a kindergarten game. We read the story ” The Napping House” and we colored the characters from the book. We cut out the characters and glued them on a paper in order from largest to smallest. Thats. a lot of work. Most of them it took more than 30 minutes. But.. I didnt have to ” force ” anyone to stay. There were a couple that were not into the activity and I asked them to try for a few minutes and when they made marks across the whole page I simple said ” Did you do you best ? ” I didnt ask did you do MY best. If they said Yes, I think so.. I said ok. If they said maybe not.. ( and one did ) I said , its ok. You can try more next time. I was impressed with how long they stayed engaged in the activity . I heard Clara say ” Kindergarten is hard work. ” I heard Jasmin say ” and you go and you sit a while and a while and a while… ” We will play more kindergarten games like walking in a straight line with your hands at your side . Dont worry… we will make it fun.
We also sorted food today -healthy food and junk food from our play kitchen.
I have rag mats that we bought for kids to spread out on the floor when they needed more space to ” work ” on puzzles or games. They were rarely getting used. So this week I have been placing them out and putting our normal table activities on them . The activities have drawn more attention. There is less running ( no room ) and there is less bickering about what pieces go to what game and who had them first ! WINNER WINNER !
Speaking of Matts – Do you know Matt LaBeau ? We love this guy. He is a contracted speech therapist that comes in to play and work on speech with kiddos. He is AMAZING.