I have returned to teaching preschoolers this past fortnight and have hit the ground running – until the end of last year I was teaching 3 year olds, and for the first time in six years I am once again in the company of 4 year olds. It has been an exciting and busy time welcoming them into a new routine and supporting new relationships between children and their peers, and children and their new teachers.
There has been a lot of discussion about future plans and organising the calendar for the year ahead, but by far, my favourite conversations are all about play! We are in agreement that where possible we will choose activities and experiences that we will have an explicit and intentional purpose to include, but are enthusiastic to be spontaneous and flexible in order to meet the needs of our children.
One example was when a child wanted to bring her dog into preschool, and as that is not possible right now, we found a story of a dog who looked very similar to hers and she happily referred to it whilst creating her own picture at the drawing table, and there are plans to set up a little imaginative play space with toy dogs to help the child feel close to talk and share her love for her dog – who is clearly very important to her.
In the therapeutic play space, one of my clients was able to express her needs and wishes through choosing the roles we would each play during a game of hide and seek of the little treasures in the sand tray.
For me personally, I have thoroughly enjoyed journal writing and collage to nurture my creativity and as an outlet perhaps disguised as play….