Being in the Moment

Aberdeen Library Snapshot Day 2012--A preschoo...

Aberdeen Library Snapshot Day 2012–A preschooler explores color vision during block play at Family Storytime. (Photo credit: Timberland Regional Library)

Yesterday was one of those days when I truly felt like a therapist. I was working with 3 and 4 year olds in their preschool. We were spontaneously playing with blocks. A structure was put up 2ft by 3ft with an opening in the middle. When I asked them to tell me about it I was told it was a TV. Two boys brandishing 8 inch long blocks pretended to play video games on the “TV”. It hit me at that moment that they truly were playing from their perspective and relishing in generalizing knowledge of activities they enjoyed. I would have never nor would have ever thought of this scenario! From a tutoring point of  view I encouraged them to pretend to be the characters in the video game and crawl into the “TV”. That is all it took and I watched as they angled their lithe little bodies into the mock TV. We then gathered a crowd of others who also liked the idea of being on TV and proceeded to enter through the block built TV. Sometimes it was knocked down, but quickly patched together. I broke into an off tune song “The Ants go Marching into the TV” and all took turns, adjusted their movements and experimenting with different approaches independently. From that, a group started trying to walk on flat blocks and we began to create a long balance beam. Those who were true pioneers of the activity decided to make it more challenging having others step over larger blocks on top of the balance beam. As a therapist, I was witnessing play in its own spontaneous, kid directed and developmentally appropriate way. Mind you… they included me, looking for reassurance, facilitation and kudos for a job well done. I thank them for that and I am grateful that I was able to witness the learning that occured.

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