Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Light at the End of the Tunnel!

Yep!  I'm finally headed towards the end of my "end of the year paperwork nightmare!"  I have five children heading to kindergarten in August.  That meant one heck of a lot of paperwork and meetings to get those kids ready!  And we're not done yet.  But...we're close!

My favorite moments, of course, have been away from the paperwork! Thanks to a grant, we were able to add extra (much needed) space to our outdoor area!  This gave us the room to add several different areas and room to add several garden areas!  Thanks to another grant we were able to purchase plants, seeds, soil, a planter bed and many tools! 

In addition to several gardening areas, we also have a new music area, an outdoor art/discovery area, a group time area, a digging area and a playhouse.

All of these areas are still being developed and the children are busy helping us define how they will use them.  The biggest excitement lately has been the addition of the "digging area".  This was very much an "accidental" addition to the outdoor area.  After gardening with the children, we realized that the children were NOT going to be satisfied with simply digging in the garden a few days!  The children quickly discovered that the dirt patch that was left after the fence was moved was an excellent area to dig holes.  And that is what they have done...each and every day after the gardening project. 

They have been digging for worms to add to the garden, beetles to hold and just simply for the pure pleasure of digging the biggest hole they possibly can.  This has provided plenty of opportunity for teamwork between children.  It also has required the children to be aware of safety with the tools.  After a few reminders from adults, the children are now fairly consistently putting tools back in the tool bucket when they are ready to run over to another area.  The fact that a few found out the hard way that tripping over a shovel or rake is not always pleasant may have helped as well!

I have watched with a bit of pride as the children in my classroom have happily joined all the excitement and are interacting and enjoying all of the new activities.  What a great way to learn language, social skills and increase those cognitive abilities!  Imagine all those neural pathways being created as a child holds and smells various herbs, tastes the lettuce they helped plant or finds a small bug in a hole.  Yep!  I'll take this over paperwork any day!

Grab the "How Long is this Hall" Button!

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