Here is a simple slide show story sharing some simple thoughts - complete with questions to share about why Play is important to me.
Capturing my enthusasium about PLAY in the hope to inspire each of you about why PLAY is purposeful and meaningful for all children.
I'm sure you are Crazy about PLAY...I'm looking forward to reading your comments and stories.
I attempted to make this into a movie - and that may happen I just need some techie geeky nerdy support.
Have a playful weekend everyone and get to spend time with people you enjoy!
Do the things you love.
Very cool :) Recently we travelled as a whole centre group to visit my Dad's farm, I felt really blessed to be able to share that part of myself with the children, their families and my colleagues. The following Monday I took some photographs of my childhood on the farm to share with the children. Just shots of myself, my sister and brother; playing in the creek, fishing with willow rods and bailer twine, riding ponies, with pet lambs and ducks...things like that.
As an adult I really value the childhood I had, and like you Donna I enjoyed trust and freedom to explore and PLAY!! If I could figure out how to add images I'd give you an example, maybe I have to do a PDF will work on that.
Thanks for your comments - and also I look forward to seeing some of your photo's in the near future.
It was really heartening to read over the purposefulness of the trip to your Dad's farm that you had planned for your tamariki.
I know that my fathers mantra has help shape me in ECE and life. "You learn all you need to know in nature".
How do you bring the outside in for your tamariki? I am curious as I get a sense that you have a great relationship with nature.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts or examples (and photo's).
Have a great weekend
Donna (the other one)
Interesting information which is from an American context. This ten minute clip really promotes why PLAY is critical in our global community.
Actually bringing the outside in is one of those things I need to work on Donna, I have done very little in that respect...(autumn leaves, sometiimes flowers, mint/lavender/rosemary to enjoy, photographs) a project for next year, along with making the outside environment attractive and enticing.
Our outside area really lets us down big time. I am really pleased that at least in our U2 area we have some grass, and a little apple tree. It's a very small space, and it frustrates me that some of my colleagues feel the need to fill it with climbing boxes/ramps/bikes and those kinds of resources. Personally I like the idea of space/grass and room to move.
Hope all the end of year things are going smoothly!
Thanks for posting your reflective thought. I consider that awareness is the biggest step towards creating change. I got very energised reading how you have begun to think about your environments. I have visited some centres who, like you, have small spaces. I thought you might be interested in how they overcame some of their challenges due to space.
One team created a gumboot wall - weird huh? Inside each gumboot was a herb, or draping flower/plant. These were located on a low wall - and the infants and toddlers could crawl/walk over and gently explore with their senses. The teachers had shared that these plants were like babies and needed to be cared for! This group of children were in an environment where it was creatively interesting to look at!
The other aspect which this team had made were succulent trays. These had been attached to the wall like a mosaic and it was very womb like - an inviting grotto to observe and inquire in. The tamariki were curious to watch the spiders walk and spin their webs.
What stood out for me was that this group of tamariki could be engrossed and peaceful in their own space and in their own time. It was quiet and restful to contemplate and relax in - it is a wonderful space to sit in and observe. Some children lie on their backs and stare at the sky!!!
This team worked really hard on a very limited budget - 500 dollars - Dad's made the succulent trays - and others contributed succulent cuttings. I would love to be able to visit in a few years when it is more established.
Have you thought of inviting your colleagues to explore an idea for a few days? (next year) How do we as a team encourage and support children to explore 'space?' How could we create an outdoor environment which invites tamariki to take responsibility of their learning? And finally, How do we show our children how we value and respect nature?
I'm wondering if you might consider this a place for some deep and thoughtful discussion - it would be a great place to start an indepth review!
Have a well deserved rest Donna.
Enjoy the season.