I thought it was time for an update on our new and very successful outdoor program. We play in the forest with minimal equipment. For the most part, we use whatever we find in nature. Being in the forest has inspired the children to think about fairies!
Soon after making the fairy house and fairy soup, the search for the fairies began.
AR’s Mom: What do fairies look like?
IM: Fairies are as tiny as your fingernail. I think I see another fairy house.
CW: Where is the fairy house?
JT: A fairy!
AR: (Looking intently at a hole in the log) I see a shiny thing.
Teacher Cindy: Did you find any fairies yet?
IM: I saw a flash in there.
Teacher Cindy: I see you’ve had fun pretending to make food for the fairies and now it is time to go.
IM: We’re not pretending. Its real; the fairies are real.
Thoughts from Teacher Cindy.
Wouldn’t it be lovely to go back to that time when fairies were real?
What else can we do that might inspire more play about fairies?
I wonder if the children could write a recipe for fairy soup…
Examples of learning taken from the BC Early Learning Framework (why I love this outdoor program)
-children can adapt to and enjoy experiences of change, surprise, and uncertainty
-children can build healthy relationships with both adults and other children (parents participate)
-children can explore nature using their bodies and all of their senses
-children can build, create and design using a variety of different materials and techniques
-children can develop a sense of wonder for natural environments
-children can express their own points of view and reflect on others points of view
-children can communicate thoughts and experiences creatively using many different forms of expression
-children can understand how their own actions may affect nature and the planet
Here is more evidence that learning and play cannot be separated! Do you know an early learning program where children need to do an adult selected task first before they can play? In my mind, this is absolutely pointless as the adult chosen task has little or no meaning for the child. When we all realize that learning is happening all the time that play is happening, then we just need to get out of the way and let children do what they do best..PLAY!
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