I have discovered something. Maybe discovered is not the right word, since I am far from the first to realize this, but it took me a while. In most cases (there are exceptions, of course) the LESS prep work I do, the MORE the kids get out of our experience. This realization has completely changed the way I do things, and the results we get because it is pretty much the opposite of how I used to run my program.
Take today for example. Thanks to our recent tree-damaging ice storms, my dad brought us some great new tree rounds to play with! They needed a quick sanding, so instead of prepping them the night before, I set out the box of un-sanded tree rounds and some small squares of sand paper. Each of them gave it a try, and a couple of them sanded off and on for the rest of the day! Call it child labor if you want, but the kids love to be involved in the process! ;) Sometimes they even enjoy the preparation more than the actual final "activity" I have in mind.
Not only do the kids enjoy it, but it also gives them a deeper understanding of whatever process we are involved with, which only broadens their learning. Now, I am looking forward to seeing what they might build with the blocks tomorrow!
Today is APRIL 18th. And this is what it looks like outside our windows.
Yes, snow is wonderful. Yes, we love to play in it. But, yes, we have had enough. The kids are so ready for warmer weather that we have had the vast majority of our imaginative free play consumed by thoughts of swimming! So, today we had a "Pool Party" day inside. I turned up the heat a couple of degrees and the kids all spent the morning in their swimsuits! We pretend- sunbathed (don't worry, we even got out some sunscreen first ;) )...
...pretended to swim a little...
...had lots of beach ball fun...
...and even planned, predicted, and observed sinking vs. floating while we played in the water!
We also read a book that was perfect for the occasion!
It has been a day full of fun and imagination! :)
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