Oh dear! The children discovered that our outdoor dinosaurs have fleas!
Without delay, children created a dinosaur washing station, featuring state-of-the-art shampoo.
And what salepersonship they displayed as they touted the merits of their Dino Washing Station!
“This is where you clean your dinosaur!”
“We can clean it up in no time if you got fleas on your dinosaur.”
“Yep, they’ve got flea bites all over.”
“I put a special shampoo on it.”
“It won’t hurt their eyes. Not even their mouth.”
“Not too cold, not too hot, just medium.”
Another great little conversation I overheard…
“This one has eye shadow.”
“Eye shadow is for girls, not dinosaurs!”
“Well…this is a girl dinosaur.”
This activity brought to mind the phrase, “If you build it, they will come.” As a play-based preschool teacher, my goal is to make a wide variety of materials available, and then allow the children to bring their own imagination and creativity to bear. While our “planned” classroom activities (still play-based, still open-ended!) are important for introducing or practicing specific skills and concepts, it is most often these moments of “unscripted”, spontaneous play that allow children to go deeper–into their imaginations, an idea, or a concept. And it stands to reason: what can possibly be more engaging than something that springs from our authentic, creative self?! Witnessing these “unscripted” moments is one of the many joys of being a preschool teacher.
Here’s to engaging, child-directed activities, full of imagination, conversation, cooperation and delight!