SHOW AND TELL

Bring a thing that blows in the wind.

Topic: Middle East

Let’s learn about the continent.

The value is frugality, which means we don’t waste anything. Our earth needs us to be careful with everything we have.

For science we’ll learn what makes the wind blow.

Outside we’ll make Diwali floor designs.

The songs we’ll be singing are Let’s Go Fly a Kite, Mr. Sun, You Are My Sunshine, Tomorrow, and Oh, What a Beautiful Morning.

Our art activities are mehndi, floating Diwali lamps, Indian spice books, and pinwheels.

Creative dramatics will be to dance to East Indian music.  

For motor development we’ll build coordination with forward rolls, pivoting, side-to-side hops, and leaping.. For body development, we’ll work on flexibility with yoga poses.  

 

ON FREE PLAY

From wetheparents.org by Neve Spicer

It Promotes Self-Advocacy

Teaching our children the correct times and ways to stand up for themselves can be challenging. It’s a skill that many of us adults struggle with. Self-advocacy is loaded with social nuance which is nearly impossible to formally teach. Yet these are exactly the kinds of interpersonal skills that children begin to grasp during unstructured playtime.

Without an adult to mandate “fair and equal” rules and turns, kids quickly learn that they must act as their own allies in order to get a fair shake during play. This is where the seeds of assertiveness are planted. This adult-free play naturally gives rise to precious opportunities to practice negotiation and compromise, helping to equip children with the confidence to advocate for themselves in the future.

It Helps Kids Master Emotional Management

To put it in simple terms: coping with big feelings is hard. That’s true for kids and adults, but a developed emotional toolkit helps people of all ages cope with disappointment, frustration, anger, sadness and other emotions that leave us wanting to act out. That mastery includes learning how to express negative feelings in socially appropriate and constructive ways based on both their own emotional experiences and those they witness in others. When children recognize that they or others receive a negative reception for acting aggressively or whining if things don’t go their way, they begin to grasp the role that managing one’s emotions plays in social interaction. Children who don’t have the opportunity for unstructured social play may have a more difficult time communicating and resolving emotions, which is a trigger for behavioral issues.

It Teaches Children That Other People Are Separate And Complex Beings

When children are small, it can be hard for them to understand why everyone doesn’t want to play the same way. As they grow older, they begin to understand that other people perceive, think and feel in different ways than they do. Both creative fantasy play and social play are facilitators of this cognitive development. During creative play, children take on more specific roles and embrace the viewpoints, characteristics and behaviors of the role they are inhabiting, displaying an understanding of experiences had by others. This influences their ability to empathize, imagining how they might react to an event or emotion if they took someone else’s place.

It Can Help Kids Tackle Anxiety, Fears and Phobias

Another benefit to free play is its ability to mitigate anxieties and even phobias. Why would simply playing make children feel less fearful? It’s not exactly what some parents want to hear, but they take more small risks when unsupervised, to see how these play out. This gives them firsthand experience with their own capabilities and lets them establish a healthy set of boundaries that aren’t heavily influenced by a fear of the unknown. Though it’s natural to want to protect our children, allowing them no exposure to risk can be counterproductive by facilitating anxious feelings when facing new challenges. When kids have the opportunity to react to real situations and test the waters on their own, they can tackle new situations and opportunities without hesitating. One 2011 paper on evolutionary psychology suggests that allowing children to engage in age-appropriate risk taking during unstructured free play is a possible way to allow them to disconnect from the intense anxiety they feel when dealing with their fears and phobias.

Coming Up

For Your Information – A part of what we’ll be talking about in the Middle East theme is the celebration of Diwali. It represents the triumph of light over dark, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. It also marks the beginning of a new year.

The State of Childhood – The editorial this week is a direct quote from a website. I couldn’t have said it better myself, so it came in to you as a straight quote.  Educators are becoming more concerned about physical abilities of children. A premier developer of children’s equipment (Community Playthings/April 2018) reports that children today are unable to cross the midline (a prime tool of being able to use both sides of the brain), their fine motor control is deteriorating rapidly, and most concerning is their inability to play. Use this information for what it’s worth in your family.