Tag Archives: friendship

I Spy 2

Many years ago I wrote about a group of preschoolers who enjoyed playing their version of I Spy.  My current group of preschoolers has also developed their own adaptation of the game but for them it is location/time specific – they will only play it when they are sitting at the table before, during or after meals.

In my schedule as meal time approaches I take the infants/toddlers out of the playroom one at a time so I can change diapers, wash hands, and get them seated before I do the final food prep.  I expect that the three and four-year-old children will want to continue playing during this time so I don’t request that they start cleaning.  However, they anticipate the routine and rush to put their toys away so they can come to the table.

Children: “The toys are cleaned up, can we come to the table now?”

Me: “The food is not ready and I still have diapers to change. You have more time to play if you want to”.

Children: “We want to come to the table and play I Spy”.

Me: “You could play I Spy in the playroom too”.

Children: “We like to play at the table”.

So, I send them to wash their hands and then play I Spy as they wait for me to finish preparing snack/lunch.  It goes something like this;

Child 1: I spy something that is Cheryl’s chair.


Child 1: That’s right! Now it is your turn.

Child 3: Cheryl’s chair is black, you were supposed to say ‘I spy something black’.

Child 1: There are lots of black things, I spied Cheryl’s chair.

Child 2: My turn, my turn, MY TURN!  I spy something that is brown and pink and blue, and green, and gold.

Child 3: AWWCK! That’s too many colours!

Child 2: No it’s not, look at that pillow – it is brown and pink and blue, and green, and gold – see.

Child 3: OK fine, my turn.  I spy something that is on that shelf.

Child 1: The shelf by the window?

Child 3: No, not that shelf, the one that is over there by that other thing – beside the curtain.

Child 2: The birdhouse, the pencil, the phone, the book, the paper, the candle, the…

Child 3: That’s right!

Child 1: Which one was it?

Child 3: Umm, the book I think.

I don’t actually think there are any ‘wrong’ answers when they play this game – the turn taking seems to be their main goal.  Their language and communication skills are what interest me.  Inevitably, no matter how quickly I try to get lunch ready, the excitement level will become far to high and I will have to intervene to remind them about volume and activity level before I can put food on the table.  Even once the food is ready the I Spy game usually continues.

Occasionally when the school-age children are here they join in, and sometimes they manage to briefly follow the preschoolers directions.  Often they try to enforce alternate rules but the preschoolers just dismiss the new rules and carry on. The little ones enjoy having the older children play along but it is ultimately ‘their’ game and they are not interested in changing it.  Just take your turn and carry on.





A Day Off

Yesterday was the first inservice day of this school year so I had all the children here for the full day.  Even though the older children have enjoyed getting back to school I also think they miss the opportunity to interact with the others here.  All the school-age children attend the same school but they are in different grades so they don’t get to spend much time together.  They were so excited to spend the day together again and the younger children were thrilled to have them here too.

There was little for me to do except observe as they tried to fit in as many of their favourite activities as possible into one day.  It was amusing to watch them rush through a group dramatic play activity, sing and dance briefly in the music area, scurry up the loft steps to read a familiar book and then dash to the art area to hastily create a piece of artwork.  I don’t really think that it was the activities that they were truly interested in pursuing but rather the opportunity to reconnect with friends who they’ve had little contact with since school began.

The weather outside was amazing so we spent most of the morning outdoors.  I was curious to see if they would slow down once we got outside – a phenomenon I’ve noticed before.  It was amazing to watch as they built structures, played games and explored the yard in record time.

Using water from the rain barrel they again filled jars and built towers;

They washed the rocks to make them look pretty;

And ‘cooked’ up a dinner in the wok;

I loved the poles set up around the cooking area so that no one would get too close to the fire – safety first!

Then one of the children built a tipi;

This was new and it was quickly copied by another child;

A third child passing by the first one and elaborated on the design;

Then another tipi popped up over on the other side of the yard;

This tipi building activity was not the focus of their attention.  It seemed to be a common theme that connected then as they engaged in other activities.  Maybe it was a way of saying ‘I’m busy playing here but I see what you’re doing over there too’.  A way to make one more connection in a busy day before rushing off again.