It started with an innocent journey to the library. The day was wet, cold and . . . wet. Miss Pat and I (Miss Belva) offered the idea of heading to the local library as it had been mentioned by one of our wee ones the week prior. YES! Let’s go to the library we all agree.
. . .
Upon crossing the street we found a small puddle to sploosh in. I had crossed the street first anticipating that they’d follow with Miss Pat and when I looked back…to all of them were jumping in the puddle! There was a lot of joy in getting *all* of the water from this puddle so all I could do was simply watch and smile. My eyes moved beyond them to the landscape behind and I noticed a GIANT puddle in an unused parking lot next to Trillium Park. Looking both ways, I ran across the street to everyone asking them to simply ‘follow me!’. A few short steps later we landed at this puddle and we let the children take the lead.
At first we circled it…looking at it. It didn’t take long before one of the children plundered in fearlessly through the middle. We all followed suit shortly there after splooshing about. We were graced with ‘warm’ weather for this time of year…12C…and everyone was dressed for 5C making the splashing about a reality for nobody was chilled to the bone. What an opportunity this was and the children took hold of it and led the charge.
We continued to play in this puddle for a long, long time as there was much to explore. We could throw rocks into it endlessly and run through it safely. The only rule we had was to not dig in the water and pick things out of it as we weren’t sure what was in it because we couldn’t see through the murky waters. No problem! If you would like to see video of Miss Pat and our friends jumping in the puddle, check out our Instagram post . (If you don’t follow us on Instagram…you should! It’s very fun!)
Then we found a stick. Good sticks are hard to come by at Trillium Park and Miss Pat seemed to have the sense on where to locate them. And this is where the joy truly began. Imagination took over and our friends became immersed in a world of their own making leaving myself and Miss Pat to be the bewildered observers. Magic I tell you!
A stick can be anything. It’s really the most magical gift out there that you can offer a child, a simple stick. The variations of what it can turn into depend on who is holding the stick but it’s a guaranteed thing that it will always be exciting and it will always ignite their imagination.
How lucky are we as educators that we have the opportunity to simply let children ‘be’ in their environment?! While we’d made a ‘plan’ to go to the library, we ended up having a wonderful afternoon exploring a puddle instead. As educators, we followed their lead and went where they wanted to go. The afternoon ignited our imaginations and offered us time to free play. Life can’t get much better than that wouldn’t ya say?