When making the weekly plans and setting-up for our day at NLA I try and keep the children's current interests and passions in mind as well as allowing for sensory, fine-motor skill activities and art, science, and nature experiences too. While all of these things are super important I know the things that happen during these activities is where the real magic of our program really happens.
Magical things like......
discovering on your own the imprint a shell can make in the play-dough,
testing and investigating what is magnetic,
enjoying calm peaceful moments with sensory bin items,
creating and expressing through art,
pretending .....making soup and muffins,
searching and exploring in nature...going on spontaneous bug, bear and mushroom hunts,
becoming chefs and paint shop owners,
wallowing in the sand,
swinging... side-ways even,
and practicing cooperation and working together!
Of course working out the social conflicts that arise naturally (not a planned part of our day, but definitely one of the most important parts) are magical moments too.
A few of the parents saw the "magic" in the sand on Friday when a conflict occurred. A few children were told they could not play in the sand. While social rejection is not easy, it is part of real life. It is important to help the children (when needed) use the "language" and the "strong voice" when these magical "social growth opportunities" occur. There were tears and sad feelings, but isn't it a gift that these "conflicts" arrive now, so later on these children will have life long social tools? Also, sometimes what looks like "social rejection" is actually a miss communication or just a case of "lacking" the skills needed in the heat of the moment. In Friday's situation in the sand, the boys were really just protecting something they worked really hard on and they didn't want it knocked over. Finding a "kinder" way of saying something takes practice too. Once again practice mixed with lots of magic is the recipe here!
Other magical moments this week: