Friday, March 11, 2011

A Busy, Happy Friday Afternoon

At our center, in the afternoons, we combine and reconfigure groupings as child care staff finish their shifts, and go home.So the groups are mixed age groups more often. There are special challenges with this as children are feeling some stresses from the long day, and missing their families, which can make transitions harder, and it can be hard for the children moving to groups -  as well as the children who are adjusting to changes happening to their group dynamics, as new children move in.

I like to have the children outside for the end of the day as the outdoors are more relaxing for the children, and playing outside in the fresh air is a great way to end the day.

However the temperature has been too cold for the last three weeks for outside play, so we've worked at finding creative, fun ways to play indoors.

The last two days provided respite from the cold, and we were so happy to get outside and play, and then today was stormy so back inside

I made sure today I had lots of paint for the easel, and some pretty tissue for collage, and  a sensory box filled with rice for scooping -  and the children happily painted, scooped, glued, drew - played in the housekeeping, and dressup, as well as blocks, etc. - all the tried and true standbys.And so our afternoon breezed by - Timothy, the oldest (names changed), who is often quiet and reserved,built a tower using all the Wedgits, and called excitedly "Brenda, I made a tower!", with pride apparent in his whole body; and Meredith, who sometimes gets teary at the end of the day as she wants her Mom, lay contentedly on the rug, with her head on a pillow, daydreaming and talking to herself.And Jenna, who has been showing so much caring for her friends, found a new way to console a friend, by getting the child's family photo and giving it to her to hold.(Each child has a family photo in a frame in our room).

And so I am just so grateful for every little thing I have learned and picked up over the years and in my training -  that in early childhood education we have simple, tried and true ways to engage children, and soothe children, helping teachers and kids turn an afternoon into a meaningful, happy  time that may one day be a happy memory.


jenny said...

You paint a beautiful picture of your day :)

Early Childhood Education and Common Sense said...

Thanks for dropping by!
I appreciate your encouragement, and just LOVE reading your blog, for inspiration.

Geraldine said...

Sounds like a good time, for everyone! I like the idea of getting children outdoors to play as much as possible. Too many spend so much time inside it seems now, on computers etc. I remember playing outside almost every day as a child and for hours!!! Great memories.

Early Childhood Education and Common Sense said...

Hi Ger!
Thanks for dropping by!
I really agree - my most vivid childhood memories come from outside play as well!
In the 50's and 60's I think we were very lucky to spend almost the whole day outside, (even on very snowy, cold winter days) just coming indoors when called usually.
In daycare settings it's so important to remember this, and create inviting, open ended outdoor play spaces. If you are interested in seeing some inspiring play spaces click on Let the Children Play, ot Chil Central Station, on my blog roll. They will take your breath away!!

Geraldine said...

Hi Brenda, I don't actually remember the 50's LOL but I certainly do remember the 60's bundled up and ready to play on even the coldest of days. Being out on the skating rink in the backyard alongside my mom or dad guiding me along (although I never learned to skate very well!) good memories! Baseball and more baseball in the summer, skipping rope for HOURS!!! I really feel sorry for the kids that need to be prompted to get outside and play now. It seems so wrong.

Melissa @ The Chocolate Muffin Tree said...

You seem like such a wonderfully sensitive teacher to your children! Thanks for the wonderful comments on my postings. I hope you enjoy the green guacamole with your students! (you made my day-because no one had commented on that posting!) My daughter would rather eat the avocados plain for now! Maybe leaving out the spices and onion would be better for her taste buds!

Early Childhood Education and Common Sense said...

Well, Hi Melissa!
Thanks for popping in!
I am enjoying your blog alot, wonderful pictures and ideas!!
I think I'll leave out the spices and onion too!
I'll let you know how it goes over!

Early Childhood Education and Common Sense said...

Your description of learning to skate brought back good memories.Mom created a skating rink in the backyard too! And then when we were older, or for more adventure we'd walk down the lane to the park skating rink, on our skates (with plastic skate guards). I remember the good/ tired feeling coming home and getting off the skates.

I do remember the 50's (!?!), at least from 58 to 60 for sure. Some of my most vivid mememories are of playing with neighbours,in our backyards, etc., and as well in the backlanes. We had a good time.

Kierna C said...

Just found this lovely insight to your day - it sounds so like the wonderful kindergartens I saw in Scandinavia. I love the idea of the children having a family photo to hand :)

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Hi Kierna,
I see you really have been blogging today!
Yes, I also have no interest in all the to do about the royal wedding.
I feel just so touched by all your generous comments here.Praise like this from a peer feels great!!