Swings and Sharing

We are very fortunate to have three swings in our preschool’s outdoor play area.  Swings take up a lot of space so it can be difficult to fit them in and yet, they provide so much enjoyment.  The challenge with swings is sharing.

Often, once a child is on the swing that child does not want to stop.  It is way too much fun. And there lies the problem.  We have 15 children and 3 swings.  And we have several avid swingers in the group. We can set a timer but then the adults are helping and the goal is self–regulation so how do we get there?

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Here’s an excellent example.  Today was a gray windy day and when A decided to get off the swing I commented, “Thank you for sharing the swing with your friend, he looks really happy to get a turn; I am so proud of you.”  Then I gave her a hug.

Child’s response: ” That’s because I’m a nice girl.  I share sometimes.  I share on windy days.”

Notice I didn’t say “Good job!” or “Well done!” or give any praise.  I just thanked her, hugged her and told her I was proud.  Then she happily came to her own conclusion.

Will she share the swing next time?  I guess we have to wait for a windy day 😉

“Trust yourself.  You know more than you think you do.” -Benjamin Spock

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Loose Parts Theory Defined

Loose Parts Theory Defined: An Elixir for the Development of Creativity

What is Loose Parts Theory? It was first proposed back in the 1970’s by architect Simon Nicholson, who believed that the loose parts in our environment empower our creativity. And now, early learning experts have adapted the theory as it relates to children’s play.

How does this theory work?  We provide items that can be moved, manipulated, combined  and put together in many different ways.  There are no specific directions on how this is to be done.  Children can explore the items in whatever way they choose.  The materials can be natural or synthetic and are stored in a way that is accessible to children without them having to ask an adult.

What are some examples of Loose Parts?

Why does Loose Parts Theory have value? I think as an early childhood educator, one of the reasons I value Loose Parts Theory is because I see firsthand how it supports creative play.  And I value creativity because it promotes self-confidence and self-reliance, it helps with divergent thinking and problem-solving skills, and it supports scientific exploration and discovery.  I am constantly surprised by the ways in which children use the items when they are free to come up with ideas.  Quite often, children will do something I would not have thought about myself. Add to that, the fact that very little money is needed to get these items, we encourage children by example to reuse items for many purposes and we spend less money on commercial toys that don’t leave much to the imagination.  I also believe that loose parts give the opportunity for children to become more engaged in play and as a result spend a longer time working/playing resulting in increased attention spans.

Are you interested in picture books that promote Loose Parts Theory?  I am working on a book list for you that will be coming up in the days ahead!

Did you enjoy reading this post?  I am not paid for any my blog writing; this is all done during my free time. If you’d like to show your appreciation for what you’re reading here on simply.cindy then please like my Facebook page.  Thank you.

Elixir

Giveaway Time!

Just a couple of days left to enter!

Spring Break has arrived.  I have just passed over 500 followers and the release date for Katie Shaeffer is set for April 24th. Woohoo!  I’m giving away a copy of my picture book Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker ! Yay!  And to sweeten the pot I’m throwing in a Ten Dollar Amazon Gift Card.

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Giveaway Terms and Conditions:

Must be a resident of Canada or USA; Must be 18 or over
One entry per household; Family members excluded.

Giveaway open from March 20 through March 27, 2017.

The winner will be selected by random draw and will be informed via email within 7 days. The winner must respond via email within 7 days to claim their prize. Email addresses are collected only for the purpose of notifying the winner.

How to enter:

  1. This is a Rafflecopter giveaway so you must click here to enter: a Rafflecopter giveaway
  2. Leave a comment on my blog that fills in the blank: I wish I could find a picture book about _____________________________.
  3. Tweet about the giveaway on Twitter.

Comments are moderated so your comment may not show up right away.  Thanks for entering and good luck!

Giveaway Time! Giveaway Closed/Winner Announced!

Thanks so much for entering my blog giveaway.  I had tons of fun reading all your comments and now I’m pleased to announce the winner… Kelly Woods. Kelly, check your inbox! Congratulations!!!

Spring Break has arrived.  I have just passed over 500 followers and the release date for Katie Shaeffer is set for April 24th. Woohoo!  I’m giving away a copy of my picture book Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker ! Yay!  And to sweeten the pot I’m throwing in a Ten Dollar Amazon Gift Card.

img_2822

Giveaway Terms and Conditions:

Must be a resident of Canada or USA; Must be 18 or over
One entry per household; Family members excluded.

Giveaway open from March 20 through March 27, 2017.

The winner will be selected by random draw and will be informed via email within 7 days. The winner must respond via email within 7 days to claim their prize. Email addresses are collected only for the purpose of notifying the winner.

How to enter:

  1. This is a Rafflecopter giveaway so you must click here to enter: a Rafflecopter giveaway
  2. Leave a comment on my blog that fills in the blank: I wish I could find a picture book about _____________________________.
  3. Tweet about the giveaway on Twitter.

Comments are moderated so your comment may not show up right away.  Thanks for entering and good luck!

Snow and Unlikely Friendships

Against the Odds

The big dump of snow that arrived last week was completely against the odds for our west coast climate.  We usually refer to it as the wet coast around here because of the amount of rainfall.
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But that wasn’t the only unusual thing cropping up this week!  On the preschool front, I’m happy to report that many unlikely friendships started to blossom.  The children were discovering new playmates.  This was truly something to celebrate as children who may not seem to have much in common have now found each other and realize they enjoy playing together.

Play is so magical.  Kind of like the magic of snow falling in a ordinarily mild climate.

Here’s to those magical moments!  May we appreciate them to the fullest.

“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” -Roald Dahl

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Thank you.