Today at circle, under a brilliant blue sky with the forest horizon still dappled red and gold, the Oaks shared what they are thankful for. Some highlights included: elephants, friends and family, pasta and nature. What more could one want?
The word sanctuary means a place of refuge or safety. We are thankful for the Woodend Sanctuary, for the safe place it offers these children (and all of us) to explore and to grow. We are thankful for the children themselves, who remind us of what is essential – to be kind, patient and flexible, to be curious always, to make mistakes and keep trying, to never stop asking questions and learning, to work together.
Children (and all of us) often need help to get from here to there. This week one of the exciting stories looks quite simple – a child turned an old log into a boat. He told the other children, and one by one they arrived at the dock bringing new ideas in their luggage. Some of these ideas we planted (like “provisions” to connect the children who like to cook), some they brought themselves (“cargo hold” “guard” “passenger deck”). Suddenly, a solitary play idea bloomed into cooperative play, and they were off. Negotiating how long the stew needed to be stirred, where to place the engine and the cargo, how the captain could sit and steer, how many passengers would fit and how they should behave (“No standing and rocking!”), whether weapons were allowed on board or only dart guns for scientific research, where the sonar should be placed and what it is looking for (bad guys, trolls or whales). And on and on. This is the world of the four and five and six year-old. Imagination, negotiation and cooperation, language development, self-regulation, problem-solving. And on and on. And there is no better place for this kind of play than nature.
Books this week (and last Friday):
And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Ish by Peter H. Reynolds
Sky Color by Peter H. Reynolds