Saturday, June 23, 2012
taking the time...
As I wrote up above, my favorite part is observing. I like to set out supplies with one goal in mind and see what the kiddos do. I make predictions in my head as to which kiddo may actually use it in the manner it was intended and which will clutch the supplies and horde them. There are no incorrect ways to play, this is how they learn. When given enough time, a lot of learning can develop in their little noggins, even if it appears all they are doing is pouring water or gathering dowels...or playing with my watch.
I wear an inexpensive slap watch at the school so that I can get myself onto the next transition in a timely manner. It has gotten left behind on numerous occasions, as well as dropped and buried in sand. I have to admit, not only does it get me to the next transition on time, but it works at bribing the kiddos when a good bribe is needed. When I write bribe, I don't mean if you do this now, you can play with my watch. I use it more as a tool for coaxing a kiddo to transition.
"Hey Bella, when you finish in the water table can you hold my watch for me and make sure it doesn't get lost as I wash my hands for snack? Come with me so I can hand it to you at the sink."
Stuff like that.
Now the kiddos often ask if they can try my watch on. The toddlers especially like it. It works great with an antsy tot that needs a diaper change.
"Oh, can you hold my watch while I get yer diaper on?"
Last week, one of the toddlers asked if she could sit on my lap during outside play. I said sure and she climbed up and immediately asked if she could take my watch off. I sat there with my wrist elevated as she took it off and put it back on, over and over again. As she did so, I talked about what my watch does, how it helps me and what time it was. At one point she asked me what time it was and I told her it was upside down and that I could not read it. She took off my watch and attempted to turn it around and put it back on upside down again. So she went through the process of trying to correct the angle of the watch and I watched and saw where she flipped it so that it was upside down. Rather than say anything, I just watched and after a great many tries she exclaimed with a huff that she couldn't do it. I simply said you have to turn it around. So she turned my wrist around and kept trying. She spent much of the outdoor time flipping the watch over and around until finally she got it and when she did she beamed. BEAMED! As I looked at my wrist I exclaimed "Hey, it's not upside down!" And so she asked me what time it was and I told her.
Later that day, after lunch, she climbed back up on my lap and took my watch off. She put it back on upside down on purpose and had a good laugh at the joke she played on me. She took it off and put it back on right-side up. I write about this to encourage you to allow your child all the time she or he needs to master a task, be it minutes, hours, days or weeks. Kids don't need the next big thing to keep them entertained or busy. By allowing them time to master a task or skill you are helping them build confidence, strengthen autonomy and master relationships. If you get a chance and if you have the time (so to speak) slow yourself down, get out the blocks or fill a tub with water and some cups, sit back, take a breather and observe. It's when we are quiet and not a part of the playing the magic happens.
**okay, can i just say that it must have been the antibiotics that i am on that made me think it was a good idea to title this post slap happy? seriously, i was thinking of the slap watch which made me happy and i thought slap happy would make sense but now i see that well...that wasn't one of my better ideas. i do hope yer still sticking with me. happy July!