Child’s play

15 Feb

We have well and truly started our Kindergarten year! The children have been at school for two weeks and we have done so much already. I have been observing the children as they play and have watched as they drew ideas from each other, creating wonderful imaginative worlds. One particular boy loves everything to do with sea creatures. So much so that when I asked him what he would like to be when he grew up he said, “a sea monster!” I was thinking how important it is to wait and see the things that captivate children and run with that!

We started by looking at sea creatures on clips on the internet and then I found our supply of sea creatures. The children decided they needed a sea so we hunted around for blue fabric and shiny blue material. I had purchased some blue dance shiny material, so that was hung up to create a space for the children to fun with their ideas. A spare plastic clam shell and an old blue sea doona and the children were off and running!


The imagination space has grown and developed over the last few days  with puppet shows. We added some fiction books about sea creatures and placed some cushions in the corner for the children to discover new creatures that live in the sea. Next week we plan on adding pens and paper for children to draw their own sea creatures.  Sparklebox have a set of sea creature flashcards which we plan on adding to the space. I will keep you posted as the play develops!

Well… the play has moved outside and we have filled water trolleys with water of course! We added some fish to the water and some fishing lines. It always amazes me how different children are in their play. One boy was pushing the fish through the water saying, “this is my banana fish” another boy said, ” no I think it is a Parana fish and it is going to shred you to pieces!”

It is fascinating to see where play goes with children. I am so convinced that if you follow children’s lead the play becomes so rich and meaningful! As the days have progressed there has been talk about mythical creatures such as the Kraken! One little boy loves talking about this creature and  the other day he was saying that these creatures crush pirate ships…. Very soon after this a passion for all things pirates developed with quite a few of the other children. Girls and boys alike. They started making maps in the writing corner and going off and searching for treasure. I raised the legs on two of our tables, took off whatever I had put there!! and covered the table with some brown cloth (yes, the versatile cloth from our cave last term!).  I found some old jewellery from the dress ups (some the children had discovered already). I put some pirate signs around. I think I found them on Teacher’s pet. They are very authentic, with calligraphic  lettering and signs with crinkly edges (which were a nightmare to cut!). As the children came in to school they spotted the space and dived under! They have started making their own signs, asking me to write things  like “beware of the pirates” . They stuck their signs all over the doors! It looks great!   We made some “ye old pirate map paper’ with the old tea bag trick and they were off and running.  I will try and hunt down the signs I found and add them to this post.I will add some photos as well.



9 Responses to “Child’s play”

  1. Larkrise July 3, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    Hello, Ms. Sterling! Last year you asked me to let you know when I had a new URL. (I’m “Handmaiden” from “Cabbages and Kings.”) I lost your email in a January computer crash, so I am leaving a comment here to let you know about my new blog, “Privacy of Light.” . Enjoy!

    • thequiverfull February 3, 2014 at 11:37 pm #

      I have just found your New Year Resolutions and love the food! My son and I have started this year with a new food and exercise routine. We have read ‘The new optimum nutrition bible’ by Patrick Holford. Very interesting reading. Another 2 books we have discovered written by John Medina ‘Bran Rules’ and ‘Brain Rules for baby’ Amazing discoveries! We have started watching the series Larkrise to Candleford and absolutely love it!
      As I read your writings I feel as if I enter into the most amazing world
      Thank you for sharing!

      • Larkrise February 4, 2014 at 1:09 am #

        Thank you for your sweet words. The New Year is so exciting isn’t it? It sounds like you and your son are off to a great start!

        {I’ve fallen behind in my blogging due to a busy schedule and updates to my website carrier, but look soon for plenty of updated and new entries…}

        Larkrise to Candleford is one of my favorite shows. I envy your discovering it for the first time. Enjoy!

    • thequiverfull February 24, 2014 at 8:48 pm #

      We have just finished Larkrise to Candleford! Sad! We loved it all! Our favourite lady was Queenie! I spent many an episode crying over the way she spoke and her gentle manner! Now what!!
      I am enjoying your blog!
      Take Care

      • Larkrise February 24, 2014 at 11:30 pm #

        We adored Queenie too.

        What next? How about ‘Call the Midwife’? 🙂 My sisters and I enjoyed watching season 2 when PBS had it online; and we are looking forward to season 3 in March. (Some of the episodes have mature content, due to the nature of the show.)

      • thequiverfull March 2, 2014 at 5:44 am #

        I started watching Call the Midwife. It is beautifully done. Some terribly sad episodes! I have found it hard to get back onto my blog! I am now a relief teacher and I technically have more time!
        I loved working with my Kindy children last year and watching them grow over the year. In Australia there is a real tussle between educators that believe that children should be taught everything by explicit teaching only and have cut children’s play time, and there are others like myself who believe it is so important for children to develop a love of learning through discovery, very purposeful and thoughtfully planned activities and investigation. I imagine you and your sisters and brothers, from what I read of your writing, have been able to grow up in an environment that is deeply nurturing and full of self discovery? Would I be right? What do you think?

      • Larkrise March 2, 2014 at 6:39 pm #

        I am glad you are enjoying “Call the Midwife.” Thank you for the book recommendations; I’ve placed a request with my library for “Brain Rules.”

        Your remarks are timely for me. I have been concerned recently by the number of young parents we know that are so *anxious* about the academic and social development of even their tiniest children, and think every little thing needs to be “taught.” (How exhausting for parent and child!) In fact, I’ve recently purchased the “Early Years” workshop from a favorite homeschool company (Simply Charlotte Mason). My hope is to host a screening for homeschool mothers, so I can open a discussion on this anxiety.

        Yes, I believe my siblings and I have been and continue to be uniquely blessed by the home culture and education our parents provided. My mother skillfully combined structure with freedom in a way I have rarely seen in others. It was unspoken but understood that our education was/ is ultimately “our own work,” and this attitude fostered not only a keen sense of personal responsibility for getting assigned work done (and done well!), but freedom and desire to pursue learning outside of “school.”

        Another great thing our mother did for us was let us be ‘”bored”; she did not micromanage our day, but after assigned work was completed, allowed us long hours out of doors with minimal supervision. (We didn’t/ don’t have a television and very rarely watched movies; our time on the computer was also very limited.) This is how children learn to develop and draw on inner resources of adventure and creativity—rather than always waiting to be told what to do. (I remember as a young girl being shocked when inviting another child to play “pioneers,” and the child wanted to know “how.” All I could think to say was, “We just pretend we are.”)

        As John Holt expressed it: “The test of intelligence is not how much we know how to do, but how we behave when we don’t know what to do.” I believe that children in our schools (I’m in the US) are not encouraged in the idea that they can explore and discover for themselves; they are told to wait on the teacher. I think this conditioned passivity *hugely* limits a child’s potential and stifles their natural love and propensity to learn. We may (!) have children who know a lot of facts they have been taught, but don’t have the inner resources to find out what they don’t yet know. They may not even care; they have become passive receptacles for the teacher and no longer see themselves as actively involved in their own education. I think this is such a shame, because I believe THAT should be the result of education!—people who care about a great deal of topics, and are self-motivated and self-directed in their exploration of new topics.

        I could go on and on. 🙂 In fact, I have several related blog posts in my editing folder… One is based on the poem by William Wordsworth (“The Tables Turned”) about the importance of having “a heart that watches and receives” rather than believing you have to dissect or read about things in order to know them with validity.

        So before this comment becomes a book in itself, I will recommend an actual book. 🙂 I HIGHLY recommend “How Children Learn” by John Holt. I was prepared to be skeptical when I first read this book by the “Father of the Unschooling Movement,” but was immediately disarmed by Mr. Holt’s sensitivity and humility as he explores the wonderful way children learn. This is an account at once personal and universal; Mr. Holt uses his own relationships and interactions with young children to describe the intelligence and curiosity of every child. His respect, love, and admiration for these young people is evident in every page, and I found his wonder and enthusiasm such a refreshment.

      • thequiverfull March 3, 2014 at 11:18 pm #

        Thank you for your lovely email! I have lots to ponder! I have come across John Holt before so I am off to the Uni library now I am an Alumni and also I love the book ‘Einstein never used flashcards’ by Roberta Michnick Golinkoff. I was so amazed as I read some of Charlotte Mason’s writings. She was definitely ahead of her time!I can see her influence on you in your writing! My email address is if this is easier for you! Thank you for sharing your thoughts! Sue

      • thequiverfull March 2, 2014 at 5:58 am #

        I just read your recent post. Have you read ‘Brain Rules’ and ‘Brain Rules for baby’ by John Medina? Absolutely amazing! I wish I had these books when our boys were little!

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