What is a typical park day? Like any other day of our lives, there is no typical. This day, however, does have all of the general components that make up a ‘usual’ day at the park. Many of our schooled friends and family wonder how we can possibly be LEARNing when we spend so much time PLAYing. The response: Learning is joyful not painful! Learning happen always in all ways.
How will your kids learn to make new friends? They do it all the time- with excitement and ease. Their friendships are not limited to time, place, age, or interest. They enjoy interactions fully and in the moment. Their definition of a ‘friend’ is beautifully pure and open. Here Sadie makes friends with some toddlers.
We spend a lot of time everywhere we go appreciating our natural surroundings and its inhabitants. We are always seeing new species that we’ve never seen before. We describe them, hypothesize about them, make up stories about them, talk to them, etc.
This is a toad we saved from some less than gentle younger children. Elijah and Sadie gave instructions on proper holding and then whisked him away to a safer location. We observed a shrill pleading coming from this guy which was a new sound we haven’t heard in our vast experience with toads. It was decided that this was the sound of terror and the kids did what they could to return him to a safe and comfortable habitat.
Look at this cool acorn! Which tree did it come from? How many ways can we use it in a fairy house? How many more can we find? How many have tops vs. how many that don’t? There is never a need for quizzing or manipulating. Their learning is organic, inquisitive, interested, continuous.
This park day ended with a tremendous group collaboration with children ranging in age from 2 to 7. They worked as a team figuring out how to get each child who wished to have a turn on the swing and each child who wished to push into their desired position. They respected each other when one child didn’t want to swing so high, fast, spinny. They lifted the little ones up and down. They managed and negotiated so that it was a fun-filled event for all.
Yes, there is much learning to be had at the playground- and everywhere else.