Young children want to help, but they often get pushed aside as sometimes their ‘help’ is anything but. At Opot, the young ones have plenty of opportunity to help out within their limitations. Creative help is what we have come up with. To give them a sense of accomplishment and the ability to feel good about themselves, here are some of the ways they can feel like a big kid!
They have the responsibility to take care of their playground and after a year the grounds and equipment are still looking good.
Before playing, they clean the area of leaves or branches from the awesome tree that shades a big portion of the area.
Then some days we ‘work’ by cutting the grass and keeping the weeds in the sand box at bay. They improved their skill with scissors as they make their area pretty.
The other day when they requested a work day (encouraged by the extra yummy snack they usually get for the extra effort) the scissors and clippers were given out and they got right down to business. On this day, they got some surprise visitors. First off, they saw a harmless snake and instead of screaming in fright, they actually squatted down to investigate. We discussed her (they said she was a mommy snake) and talked about how to treat a snake we see, how we don’t want to scare her or poke her with a stick.
The preschoolers themselves started the discussion as they were putting the treat-animals-with-compassion training to use. “The Beauty of Snakes” video and a couple of books have been great learning resources for them. All of a sudden the SNAKE! was a mommy and needed to get home to her babies. She was there looking for food and didn’t want to be scared by kids.
The group slowly dwindled and the mommy snake slowly uncurled and slithered away.
Next up were some frogs or maybe they were toads, we didn’t ask. They were pretty camouflaged so it was like a game to find more.
One little guy had the idea to put the grass clippings in buckets to make nests, so we hung one on the fence and put another in a tree. A couple days later we realized those weren’t the best places as the one in the tree was blown off and the one on the fence was full of water! Lesson learned, birds like their nests to be dry and secure.
The last part of the cleaning sessions started innocently enough, a few formerly lost toys were found and after a thorough washing, they were good as new.
But you know what can happen if you give kids soap and water…they want to clean more! Soon the walls, posters, doll houses and play houses were sparkling!
After all that cleaning up (ourselves too!), we had an especially yummy treat all the way from New Zealand! Pic’s Peanut Butter Slugs!
After all this, it was only 9:45 AM…
Thanks for taking the time to glimpse a small part of our world for a moment.