The Mind of a Child

Posted by: Sara Wasserman on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at 4:00:00 pm

I post a lot of articles about the importance of play but we rarely talk about what that looks like in action. This morning, as I was observing one of the classrooms, I got to see the process of play in action. The teachers introduced scraps of a rug that were taken from another area of the school where they would have been thrown away. When I pulled them from the pile this morning, I was thinking as a preschool teacher. I knew that they would be treated as a treasure. The best part was getting to watch that process unfold through the children’s eyes. I took pictures to document the process. I tried to show how they were in awe of these materials, brought them everywhere in the classroom, and experimented with what they could do. Thanks to some willing teachers, they even became saddles among other types of roadways. If you look carefully you will notice the children:

  • Exploring the properties of the rug (the smooth edge, the rough edge, soft top and rough bottom)preschool-children-photo
  • Wrapping the pieces around their bodies
  • Balancing the pieced on other bodies
  • Piling and layering the pieces together
  • Lining them up to walk on, drive cars along, or pretend to be train tracks
  • Fitting them to the edge of the carpet where they don’t match but certainly look similar
  • Smoothing out the bumps so the carpet would lay flat
  • Closing the gaps between the pieces once lined up correctly
  • Bending the strips to make curves and lines
  • Creating parallel and perpendicular lines

And so much more…

When I left the world of college teaching and returned to preschool, it was because I was missing opportunities like this. Sitting in the classroom this morning and simply watching as the children experimented, I was in awe. When we stop to watch the process and see how their minds navigate barriers and continue to push forward, we are reminded just how important the work of a child can be. I am so happy to be part of a place the honors and values the work that children do each and every day as they simply play. - Sara

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