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?


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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Why Take Risks?

Why do educators allow young children to take risks at preschool?

Think back to the feeling of accomplishment you experienced when you finally did something you could not do before.  What better way to build confidence and self-esteem!

So the next time a child you know wants to take a risk… consider… what’s the worse that could happen?


Does this look too risky to you? Would you feel comfortable allowing a child to climb this ladder?  What are your thoughts?  Please share.

“If you risk nothing, then you risk everything.”  -Geena Davis

Dinner With a Philosophy Student

How can life be boring when almost every night you have the opportunity to have dinner with a philosophy student? Well, that’s our life now that our son has officially decided to be a philosophy major.

Today’s daily prompt is ruminate  which means to think deeply about something.


#1 Son:  Everything in the entire world is made of the same substance.  You, me, this table, water, the floor….

Me:  Okay, well I can buy that since it all comes down to molecules anyway.

#1 Son: So according to Spinoza, that means we are all God; everything is God; nature is God.

Me:  Whoah, that’s very deep.

#1 Son: And we have no free will.  Everything is predetermined.  We think we have free will but we don’t.  Everything is going to happen in the way that it will happen.

Me:  I still want my free will.  I mean I want to believe that how I choose to spend my day makes a difference.  I want to believe that my written words make a difference.  I’m not sure if I want to accept that I have no free will.  But I guess that would be less stressful, right?  I mean, then it doesn’t matter what I do with myself…  whether I get married or don’t, have kids or don’t, write, teach or choose to sit home on the couch… it is all predetermined anyway…

#1 Son:  People who believe that everything is pre-determined are happier.

Me:  I want to be happy.  I think I’ll choose to believe that then.  Yes, happiness makes it worth believing that everything is pre-determined.  I choose happiness.

Curious about Spinoza?  Read more here.

“Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.” -Spinoza

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This story is in response to Vivian Kirkfield’s 50 Precious Words Contest.   March 2nd is the birthday of Theodore Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss and by the way it is also my brother’s birthday… Happy Birthday Michael if you’re reading this!


Vivian’s contest is based on Bennet Cerf’s challenge to Seuss to write a children’s book using only 50 words.  It’s true that the story has over 700 words…but only 50 unique words.  Vivian’s Challenge is to write a story that is 50 words not including the title.

Here’s my entry:


Awake at dawn. Rush to the riverbank.





Turn the crank. Hold tight. Turn fast. Faster.

Sigh. A boot.





Turn the crank. Hold tight. Turn fast. Faster.

Sigh. Too small.





Hold tight. Turn fast. Faster!

Astounding.  A colossal catch!