WELCOME TO OUR FORTNIGHTLY OUTDOOR PLAY LINK-UP
An impromptu ball game conceived by two friends, draws a crowd.
Children do not need to be directed in their play. They are quite capable of creating their own learning experiences without adult input. But when a couple of children hit on a play scenario that proves to be irresistible to others, the sudden influx of children eagerly wanting to join in, can be just outside the social skills range of the average 4 to 5 year old.
This is when the calm and gentle guidance of an educator may be required. BUT, that certainly does not mean stepping in and taking charge, thereby wrestling ownership of the play from the children. No matter how ‘pleasantly’ an educator might approach such an intervention, it has the potential to be damaging to the children’s developing sense of agency. It is important to acknowledge that the children have already, quite capably, established the ground rules of the game, and may just need a little support to manage the change in circumstances.
The children don’t need to be ‘told’ what to do, they may just need support to ‘think’ about what to do. Children of this age are developing a sense of ‘fair’ play and sometimes just need a little assistance in stepping out of their own shoes to view the world from the perspective of another. That is the role of the educator, to facilitate the children’s ‘social understandings and problem-solving skills. ‘Less is more’ is a great motto for the educator to keep in mind in such a scenario.
This slide play resulted in the children implementing and practicing many pro-social skills (sharing, taking-turns, communicating, empathizing… etc) to bring about a cooperative experience that was inclusive of all children who desired to be involved.
Without assistance, the children were able to assess each others skill level and adapt their approach accordingly. Their desire to collaborate and work as a team became evident.
The most rewarding preschool experiences are those that are child-lead and child-owned.
My favorite post from last fortnight’s link-up was from:
Two of Everything – Mud, Glorious Mud.
Click on the photo above to read more!
How did your kids play outdoors this week?
Any kind of children’s outdoor play-related posts are welcome!
We’d appreciate it if you included a link back to this post (either in your post or sidebar) to help us spread the word about the importance (and fun!) of outdoor play! In return, we’ll gladly further share your post on Facebook/ Twitter/ Pinterest. Please feel free to grab the Outdoor Play Party button from the sidebar and/or include a text link back.
Please note that by contributing you are giving permission for an image and link to your post to be republished if featured. (If you have been featured, please feel free to grab the ‘featured’ button from the sidebar.) Share your ideas for outdoor play activities with us very other week!