Thursday, March 21, 2013

What path should we take?

Anton and Michelle working on a puddle full of toys with their brooms.
After yesterday's wild weather-we were all ready for more of the same. Instead it remained wind-less and rain-less. The kids worked together during gathering time to pull the wagon, climb the special tree and play in the puddles.

Gathering and "free choice" time is a very important component of any preschool experience. It is a time for the child to re-adjust to being at preschool and away from their family. It is a time for them to choose whom to play with and what to do. There are many times during preschool when they are in designated groups or activities. This is their time to choose.

Children often have few real choices in their lives. Yet we want to prepare them for real life which is full of scary choices and paths. The Outdoor Preschool lets children choose paths and activities often. We even let them go off their path to see where that might lead. I wonder if this concept will be hard-wired into their brains. I hope that it will be. I believe there are many ways to live life- and many paths to take. I think that we often get roped into thinking there is only one way to live or one place to live. Yet, there are happy people all around the world-living in a myriad number of situations. We too can make choices in our lives that might make us happier.
Cooper J. helping water through the culvert. That was muddy work!
As the yellow group set off to hike the perimeter trail (Teacher Ann's idea of the day) they passed an awesome mud hole that was calling their names. Pretty soon we were all mucking through the mud-getting a bit stuck and learning about suction and wondering how a vacuum works. The sounds coming from our boots were sucking sounds and sometimes the suction won! The kids then worked together to try and help water get through the culvert from one side of the trial to the other and on to the stream. We were all so muddy afterwards we needed to go back and hose off before snack! So much for the perimeter trail..

Hard at work in the mud.

After snack we set off to our designated meeting spot with the blue group so we could take them to the new dirt slide area the yellow group had built on Tuesday. Blue group had had an awesome snack by the stream and then enjoyed the fleeting sun in the meadow. We caught up with them playing in the field and on the tire swings. Together we ran up the hillside to the downed tree roots. After sliding under the roots, everyone decided to jump off the top. Teacher Jen was nice enough to help the kids jump for the next 20 minutes off the high side onto the path. The kids lined up to climb to the top and jump. There were lots of giggles and cries of joy as they careened off the high spot. Teacher Ann played Bad Cop by keeping the kids from climbing too high into the rotting tree roots.
Taking turns jumping from top of a felled tree.
We are happy to have Anton join us at TOP and look forward to a warming spring. Oh yes! Happy Spring! During circle time we talked about what spring meant-everyone raised their hands with ideas: "Bears wake up." "Flowers bloom." "Birds come back and sing."

I couldn't be prouder of these kids!

1 comment:

  1. Looks like lots of fun, love the photo of the little boy in the mud. I agree totally on the whole idea of letting young children learn to take decisions & chooosing a path is a great start.