Throughout the past month, the children of Preschool 2 have shown a growing interest in dramatic play and gross motor activities. During a rainy day, Educator Taylor dug a hole in the mulch and covered it with a blue tarp, creating an open-ended invitation for the children to come explore. "That's like water" exclaimed Caleb. The children expanded on Taylor's provocation by incorporating their knowledge of shapes and structures. With a little help from the educators, Stark, Caleb and Thaddeus brought over a basket of blocks and gathered up the Christmas Tree logs from last year. The children constructed a bridge with the materials and began their dramatic play experience. Ophelia said, "It's a splash pad" as she prepared to take a big leap off the bridge. Ophelia's laughter garnered the interest of other children, which led to a group conversation about safety and turn taking. Stark suggested "Only jump when no one's there, so you don’t squash them". After collaborating on a quick list of 'rules', the children were ready to participate. The children took turns fostering their gross-motor skills as they jumped from the bridge into the water.
This experience was great for so many reason. For one, it supported various aspects of development. Engaging in large group experiences where there are diverse abilities allows children to take on a role of leadership and display empathy, which in turn supports their sense of belonging and well-being. Additionally, activities like this are where children see and model age appropriate problem solving and conflict resolution skills. We love how much we're able to learn from each other when we all come together in an experience.