Today was the first day that we spent the entire day outside. We only had one child asked “when are we going in?” but she didn’t seem sad to be outside and the weather was perfect- so we stayed.
Giving children long periods of unstructured play time without teacher direction is important. Allowing children to be bored is important. During those long periods of play are when children develop skills needed for life. They learn how to be creative. The conversations are better. The negotiations that happen are amazing. The flexibility that I see and the children engaged in play is astounding.
Most of the kids play today revolved around the dirt pit. They dug for dinosaur bones, the hid jewels , they filled up dump trucks, they played family, they made food, they did so many things within that 4 ft square.
Anna joined us this year. She is Levi’s little sister. Her little voice is the sweetest thing ever. Levi has stayed with her a lot the past three days but he’s finally over it. He’s ready to go on and do all the things he used to do. You could hear her sweet little voice saying “Levi let’s play family! Levi let’s play family .” I bet she said it 20 times. Finally Derek decided he wanted to play family with Anna. A new friendship was formed. Had I not allowed the extended time to play it might not have happened.
Kids – like us need time to just “be” with no expectation or obligation. Outside we had to find the letters on our water bottles. Outside we figured out what happens when you place an object on a board and jump on it . All the teaching that takes place inside can take place outside naturally.