I’ve never heard that phrase before but when I asked Word for a synonym for ‘different’ one of the options I was given was ‘like chalk & cheese’. I thought it was very fitting since neither chalk nor cheese is bad but they are very different – as are things around here.
I’ve had another day without batteries for my camera because I’ve been too busy to get to the store. Watching the children play has been different – but not necessarily bad — without a camera in hand. Sure, there have been moments when I wished I had been able to take a picture but there have also been more opportunities for me to interact with the children too.
Of course sometimes ‘interacting’ seems more like ‘interfering’. Like yesterday morning as the children were playing outside and one of the preschoolers was wandering back and forth across the yard carrying on what seemed to be random conversations with possibly imaginary playmates. Although she didn’t appear to be talking to me I felt somewhat compelled to answer her questions when she was near me.
After the third or fourth time I answered a miscellaneous question she stopped pacing, stared at me and with an exasperated tone said “I’m not talking to you”.
“Who are you talking to?” I asked.
She sighed and lifted her hat just enough to expose the piece of bark – with wheat straw antenna – that she had stuck against her ear. “Can’t you see my cell phone?” she replied.
Yes, now I do. I love symbolic play. Now please excuse me while I go make a camera so I can take a picture of your phone…:-)
The other children were busy too. Several of them were playing with the hoola hoops. They had started by playing some sort of tag game in which their movements and ‘escape routes’ were restricted to the pathways created by the hoops. I thought it was a cool game, they were cooperating so well and it was such a unique way to play tag in a small space.
Then they began using the hoops to make wings. Some of the children were butterflies. Others were birds. One used four hoops to create a really wide wingspan and announced that he was an eagle.
One of the girls used her two hoops to form a circle and then she curled up inside of it. “What are you?” I asked.
“Right now I’m a cocoon” she said “but soon I’ll be a butterfly”.
Following this we then had many eggs and cocoons which became birds and butterflies which laid more eggs and spun more cocoons and so on….
You get the picture – even without a camera.
School starts next week so I’ll have few ‘full day’ children here. Everything will be so different. I’m going to miss the long periods of free play – the creativity, cooperation and imagination. I’m going to miss watching them learn.
However, I can’t say the days will be quiet or boring. We do have some of our old friends returning and a young infant will be joining our group. So the learning won’t end, it will just be different.