Day two was SO much less chaotic. The high emotions subsided and the littles began to feel more comfortable in our space. We had all hands on deck at 730 just in case children had a really tough time like yesterday but it was a new day. Children came in the gate with smiles and confidence knowing they were safe and would be picked back up in the afternoon.
One thing we did today that we have done in years past is run our day in two groups. We tried to group together the littles that had already formed bonds yesterday and we kept siblings together . At 9:00 one group of eight went outside with Dallas and the other group stayed inside with me. Bartina played in the rooms upstairs and I was in charge of the downstairs room. My intention today was to introduce the art center and how the materials are cared for. You know many times we get aggravated at children for not taking care of something the way it ” should be ” cared for when we really haven’t stopped to explain to them what needs to happen. Ex. When you finish drawing with a marker put the lid on it. If you don’t it will dry out. Quickly I figured out that my art center has MANY materials on it and I needed to introduce each thing individually. So, today we just looked at glue. We talked about puddles and dots. We need to make dots of glue and not puddles. We even practiced ! At 10:00 we switched !
If your child says we had a visitor today , we did ! My brother , David Stringfellow, stopped by today for a few minutes. His wife Pam has had a daycare across town for many years. They are retiring and moving to Tahlequah. They have built a house there. Sometimes my brother pops in to visit . He’s big and he’s loud but he is safe and has a big heart.
We played a lot. Perhaps when you ask your child what they do all day they reply ” play.” I have even heard people speak of preschools saying ” All they do is play there, it’s not a real preschool. ” Well, excuse me while I climb up on my soapbox. At a real preschool you see much playing . At a preschool that is trying to be a kindergarten you might see less play and more group instruction and rote teaching . At good early childhood programs there is a lot of play !
Years of research on child’s learning and development document the many benefits of play for child’s intellectual , social, emotional, physical and language development . Children at play are actively involved in creating themes , exploring and establishing environments , solving problems and developing shared understandings.
Children play in many ways. They play independently , sometimes near each other but with each child doing their own thing. They also engage in what is called ” parallel play,” perhaps using each others toys or even talking but not coordinating their play. They also play cooperatively , organizing games and scenarios. As children get older they are more capable of cooperative play. But all kinds of play are valuable.
As kids play together they learn to see other child’s point of view and become more empathetic and caring. They learn to use language in new ways as they interact. And in play, children develop their muscles and coordination.
How do we support children’s play ? We provide space, materials and opportunity. We make sure their area is safe for exploring. We make sure they have plenty of uninterrupted time so they can choose activities and become engaged. And we provide them with simple, interesting materials – no new fangled expensive gadgets required- kids take it from there.
Play is fun. But is also serious business that pays big dividends to its eager , young investors.