Well, it's now October, and it seems I'm finally catching my breath, and have a sense of who the children in my small group of 2 1/2 years olds are; what they like to do; and what kind of group I'll have.
The last month has seemed more busy than usual for September. I feel I've been working to deal with more separation anxiety than usual, as several of my children started at the daycare, without a chance to transition gradually. As well I have two toddler aged children, and the remainder of my children are all at the very youngest of the age group.
Some mornings it seemed that when one child started crying, everyone needed to cry. But slowly, very gradually the children are developing more sense of trust in the environment, and in me.
I'm really starting to like my group's developing personality, as the children have begun to comfort one another. I remind my children to give their peers "gentle touches", as now and then I find this age group will hit, or push. I am always intrigued to see children take my recommendations to heart, and remind themselves and one another to give a gentle touch.
This group also likes to hug! It is really heartwarming to see a child leave for the day, and receive a hug from his or her friends, and everyone waving goodbye.
We've been spending our days very simply, following the basic routines of breakfast; washup; story; and then mainly heading outdoors. After about one hour of play in the glorious, sunny autumn weather, we head back in for lunch; washup; and nap.Wake up routine follows with snack, and more simple, comforting play, then heading outdoors usually for the rest of the day.
I've needed to keep it simple this past month to allow for my children to establish some security, and comfort, and now I think we're ready for some actual art and movement and more focused play. I have had sensory play available, as I know that is a comfort for most children - but it has been of the most simple kind - the sand table, play dough, and as well a "flour" table with baking tools, which has been popular
I enjoy singing, and movement games, and I've been happy to find that this group also like these. So we've started singing and moving to several songs about autumn leaves, squirrels and rabbits.
A favourite is one I call "Sleeping Bunnies". The children curl up on the floor, "sleeping", and I sing "See the little bunnies sleeping til it's nearly noon; Come and let us wake them gently with our merry tune; Oh how still, are they ill -" and here I can pause and allow silence for quite some time, as the children wait for a clap of hands, and "Wake up do. Hop little bunny, hop, hop hop.....and stop, on your spot." This group of children are very good at sleeping quietly, waiting for the clap, and like to have the game repeated several times.
Soon, the children will likely be interested in more free forms of movement, but this particular group appears to be enjoying the comfort of these simple preschool games, at this early time.