May Message from Deb
May 3, 2017
Recently I saw a three-year-old on our nature playground building with the outdoor blocks. Each block was carefully placed in ways that did not follow the typical “build up” type of block play. The blocks were each balanced with incredible skill and clearly there was more intentionality going on than one might think.
After watching for awhile, I asked what he was building. Without missing a beat he explained, “This is an apartment building, but only ants can live in it. I can’t make it too tall, because maybe they can’t get up so high. But I am building an elevator for the ants. It’s right here. It’s hard to get the blocks to not fall down. I used the blocks with the holes so that the ants can get in and out if it rains.”
Play and learning are intertwined. Children practice and reinforce their learning in multiple classroom learning areas (indoors and out) during play. It gives them a place and a time for learning that cannot be achieved through completing a worksheet.
For example, children in the Leapfrogs room recently were learning about bread--how it’s prepared and the many varieties enjoyed around the world. It was in the dramatic play area that children clearly displayed their deepened connection to the topic.
According to a Leapfrog teacher, the children “have utilized the cooking tools, pans and foods to reenact making various breads or meals containing bread. The Leapfrogs also enjoy asking friends and teachers what they would like to order and preparing a meal for them.”
“As the play progressed we added materials such as a checkbooks, a server’s apron, and a notepad to write down orders. During the restaurant role play we discovered the need for menus, and the Leapfrogs got to work creating their very own!”
We often see restaurants pop up in PIC classrooms. Children write and draw menus, set prices, take orders, and make out checks. It is this type of play that provides rich learning opportunities and leads to children’s success and self-esteem.
We have long celebrated play at PIC. This year, I invite you to join us in celebration on our first annual Day of Play on Saturday, May 20th. We have an exciting day planned for PIC children and their families, as well as our community neighbors.
- A morning of outdoor play and music for children
- An opportunity to purchase plants
- An evening of music for adults
All to give more children the opportunity to have such playful learning experiences by benefiting our tuition assistance fund
I hope that you will join in some or all of the fun...and the PLAY!