Family Resources backyard space was finally “open for business” during Friday’s Play Shoppe. It’s not a huge space but we’ve tried very hard to provide what we think children enjoy most – water, sand, and dramatic play choices.
As the first families arrived, however, I had to remind myself – just give the children time – to observe, start slowly, be comfortable with the unstructured options facing them.
Many of the children did just that – stand there at first – not quite sure what they were suppose to (or allowed to) do. But as I really knew would happen, they were soon totally engaged – mud pies baking, busy hands digging, playing in the water, driving the “semi’s”, pretending in the dinosaur garden, hammering out a jazz session on the sound wall, watering the flowers.
Jumping in too soon is something all of us adults should watch. Always suggesting, directing, explaining what and how to do something can stiffle a child’s initiative, confidence and the selection process one uses when making choices.
This is especially significant when open-ended materials are involved. There is no one way to do something – thus the beauty of it. It’s entirely up to individual imagination, ingenuity and experience.
What satisfaction is gleaned, however, from sitting back and waiting!
To observe children engaged is to see children who are playing in their own zone – completely engrossed in their”work”. There is very little “watch me” or “help me” or seeking approval or praise.
On Saturday, August 28th, from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Family Resoures Children’s Festival will be held at Myrick Park.
It is my favorite event of the year!
We try hard to offer enough different activities, crafts and broad dramatic play opportunities to thrill every child.
There’s just one thing to remember. I caution myself as well. The children just might well need a moment to stop and wonder and watch.
Give them this time , then, step back and enjoy the results.
Children Festival buttons are available at Family Resources. The cost is $4.00 in advance, 3 for $10.00; $5.00 day of the event. Scholarships are available. Call and inquire at 784-8125.
Children under 2 are free. The event is held rain or shine.
Hope to see you there!