It is our responsibility as educators to expose children to a wide variety of experiences. We at Glen Leven believe in encouraging this practice by providing many loose parts inside and out. As adults, we can learn as much as our children when build a community of support around them. A common phrase you will hear at our preschool from our children is “to work it out”.
One example we observed of “working it out” was Grey’s solution of transporting water to the dirt pile to make mud. He had taken many trips from the mud kitchen to the dirt pile with a small cup in an effort to make a “mud river”. As he grew weary with little result from his huge investment of effort, he began his search to find a more efficient process. Transporting teaches many skills such as spatial awareness, eye-hand coordination, balance, empowerment and belonging.
Grey’s intent was a scientific approach as he was determined to transport a large amount of water to the dirt pile. His first challenge was getting the water into the wheelbarrow, which he discovered by rolling it under the sink accidentally. He began to tug to remove it and it appeared as a light bulb came on for him as he began filling the wheelbarrow up with water! His next obstacle was removing the water-filled wheelbarrow from under the sink.
His first attempt resulted in spilling his precious load. He did not falter and shoved it back under the sink. This time he carefully tilted the front of the wheelbarrow, only spilling a small amount. The result of his determination built his image of himself as being a competent problem solver. He arrived at the dirt pile a hero to all those longing to enjoy the “dirt river”!