Yesterday had all appearances of being an unremarkable day. It was a rainy and somewhat chilly day, so we opted to spend our morning indoors. Of course, we would rather be playing in the fresh air but we were determined to not let an indoor day dampen our spirits.

As the morning unfolded, the imaginations of our young friends began to engage in dramatic play. They discovered a couple of babies and proceeded to imitate life and the world around them in the shape of family. Almost immediately they began to collaborate by assessing what these babies needs will be. They shared their thoughts and ideas and they strategized what they would need and how they would go about caring for these babies.

Their problem solving paid off and it was decided that a baby carriage would be a good start. So “C” flexed his excellent engineering muscles and set about designing the perfect baby carriage for their new little ones. As everyone made suggestions, “C” incorporated them into the plan and had me label all the ‘important parts’. Let me tell you this carriage has all the bells and whistles. It is a two-seater with lights, a phone charger, and a drink holder. It also has music capabilities with some pre-recorded songs ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ and ‘Rock A Bye Baby’. It will even include assembly instructions. After completing the specifications “C” dubbed his creation “The Baby Carriage 2000” and everyone applauded their approval.

“A” found a telephone and called in the order to ‘Amazon’. After the order was placed, she proclaimed “Maybe it will get here today!!” which made us all very excited and happy. My gears were quickly set into motion as I thought of a way to take this idea a bit further. I quickly sent Miss Jasmine downstairs to retrieve our baby carriage. When she arrived at the door with the carriage in hand our girls were so thrilled, they cheered in excitement and “C” stood with his hands on his hips nodding and smiling.

The remains of our day were spent taking turns with the carriage and taking care of our very happy babies.

Miss Stephanie


Happy Mother’s Day

In the fours class (most of which are now mostly fives 😢) we spent the week celebrating mothers! We made gifts for them. While we were painting gift bags one little girl said, “I’m painting mine red because that’s the color of my heart!”. I heard lots of wonderful things about  the special women in their lives. I asked them, ” Why do you love your mom?”

  • She always buys Dunkin Donut bagels! Also she is pretty special. – Landon
  • My mom always gets me a lot of stuff for my whole life and I love her a lot! – Mia
  • Well she always gets me a birthday present. Also she makes the BEST cookies, chocolate chip! – Brady
  • Before we go to bed she always gives me a hug and a kiss. – Blake
  • She takes me out for ice cream, but my Dad does drive us. – Ian
  • She takes care of me the best and she she made me! – Leroy
  • She always buys me donuts and gives me kisses! – Henry Garrett
  • She always takes me to swimming pools. – Henry David
  • Because we do everything together! – Scarlett
  • She let me pick a beach vacation! – Norabel
  • She made me and she loves me ! – Ember
  • She buys me donuts! – Arya
  • She always lets me have dessert ! – Fount
  • My mom always has great ideas ! – Tucker
  • My mom is so special, I just love her so much! – Reagan
  • My mom always hugs me ! – Braxton

And “What does your Mom love?”

  • She loves me and donuts of course. –  Henry Garrett
  • Hearts! – Henry David
  • Trophies! – Landon
  • She loves me because I love her. I did that smooth dance on the cruise and I won for her ! – Mia
  • She loves me, flowers, hearts, and pictures. – Ian
  • My mom always loves to take pictures of me, but I do not want to do that! Oh wait, she loves working out and then I take pictures of her ! – Brady
  • She loves me. – Leroy
  • She loves me and flowers and hearts. – Ember
  • She loves coffee and taking me to Poppy’s house. She loves using the computer. -Tucker
  • She loves my new blanket, we just got it! – Blake
  • She loves to blow bubbles with me ! – Fount
  • She loves it when we make stuff for her ! – Norabel
  • My mom loves heart stickers! – Arya
  • My mom loves food and me. – Scarlett
  • My mom loves me because I’m a cutie patootie and she loves going to the mall! – Reagan

Happy Mother’s Day!

-Miss Amber

Picture This!

Before I get into this week’s blog post, I wanted to take a moment to express my deep appreciation and gratitude for the job that I have here at Miss Amy’s. I’ve had the pleasure of working here for just over a year and I couldn’t imagine what my life would be like without the community here, without the children, and without all of you. I, for one, feel very blessed to be a part of each child’s life. Thank you for that opportunity. Your children are amazing and I learn so much from them, day in and day out. May we never stop listening to their small voices, wrapping them up in our arms, and making sure they know we love them and always will. No. Matter. What.

And, on that happy note, let’s flash back to some of the fun and crazy things we’ve been doing the last few weeks. Of course, we celebrated Easter with an Easter egg hunt and we dyed eggs, but we also decorated some paper Easter eggs and made chocolate chickens.


Since the kids were obsessed with things popping out of eggs, I made a little chick peeking out of an egg as an example of what they could choose to do with their own paper Easter eggs.


What they did with their eggs was totally up to them though!


And boy, did we have some funny looking Easter eggs…


A few days later, we melted down a bunch of chocolate and poured it into candy molds, making chocolate chicken popsicles for snack!

This past Friday we had our annual Trike-A-Thon, where we raise money for St. Jude’s, so that they can continue fighting childhood cancer and finding ways to improve the lives of those children and their families. Here is a link to more information about these events held nationwide! As for our particular event, we took tons of pictures and have been updating along the way and all of that information can be found on our Facebook page. We had a wonderful time!

In other news, we have been quite into making masks lately. All sorts of fun masks. Beards, sharks, and maybe my face…? I’m really not sure on that one. Sometimes, I just have to sit back and laugh at some of the silly things that happen here.


Speaking of funny things, when one of the kids learned about my upcoming birthday and they found out how old I’d be turning, they looked at me for a moment and pondered my answer, before announcing, “You’re going to die sooner than I thought you were.” Good gracious, I about fell over I was laughing so hard. Only a child. It made my day.

Another incident that made my day was the dancing down on the porch. We recently put a speaker down on the porch, so children could listen to music in the afternoons. We plugged in our iPod and have been playing Music Together songs and some of the children have really been getting into it. They grab scarves and just rock out to the songs. It’s hard not to smile when you see a two year old getting down to “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.”

Here’s just a smattering of beautiful paintings courtesy of the kids.


And last, but definitely not least, we have officially begun working on our fall art exhibit. I’m going to keep the theme a surprise for now, but here’s a sneak peak at some of the work we’re doing. And, as always, here’s the link to more photos from the past few weeks.

It’s going to be great! Right now, we’re gearing up for the summer and are getting ready for the long sunny days ahead. Here’s to hoping the clouds clear up and the rain, rain goes away and comes again another day.

~ Miss Kt, Clubhouse Kids Teacher & Atelierista (Art Teacher)


Picture This!


Spring is almost here! (I think…)

Is anyone else having trouble figuring out what to wear day to day or is it just me? One second it’s 70 degrees outside and the next it feels like 6 degrees with wind chill! What is happening?! Luckily, despite the crazy weather, we have been plugging along just fine here at Miss Amy’s and we’ve even braved the frigid weather so we don’t lose out on the fun the outdoors has to offer.


We love chalk!


And buckets! We love buckets too, even when they’re stuck to our bottoms.

And lately, we have really enjoyed building ramps and jumping balls all over the porch and yard. We’re getting pretty good at it!


The crazy creatures we build have been getting stranger and stranger by the day, but we love them anyway.



Especially when they remind us of cookie monster!

We know we’re always on the run…


And we know that things can get crazy.


We’ve all made this face before!

But, in all seriousness, we do it in the name of creating the best experience possible for each and every child that steps through the door and into our lives. We know that children are challenging and that it can be hard to listen to every story and have patience with every little potty problem or dinner disaster, but this time in a child’s life is so important. It’s so important to put aside the craziness and that face we’d all like to make at times and get down on their level and really listen, really talk, really be there for them. It’s hard; I know it! But, I will never stop striving to build a caring relationship with every single child. Because relationships shape the way children see the world, how they develop, the types of adults they grow into, and more than that, they make my life so much easier! With a relationship, I can sit down and ask a child questions about their behavior and we can reach a conclusion together by thinking about what we know and what we did and both come out the other side better for it. Without a relationship, I’m as significant as an ant about to be squashed beneath a boot. Relationships just make everything better. I want what is best for each child and this is one way that I can accomplish that goal. It’s important to me, so I wanted to share it with you. Thank you for taking the time to read my spiel and please follow this link to find more pictures of the past few weeks!

~ Miss Kt, Clubhouse Kids Teacher & Atelierista (Art Teacher)


Picture This!

Happy Saturday! I just wanted to take a second to let y’all know about the new art themed picture based blog post series I’m about to start up. Each week, I take oodles of pictures of the art that your wonderful children are producing day in and day out and I wanted a way to share this outside of my normal blog posts. So, every few weeks, I’m going to update “Picture This!” with new pictures of our recent art! Don’t worry, still the same blog, just a running series of posts within and I’ll always call it “Picture This!” Excitement! Now, without further ado…


The kids love this book, so I thought we’d find a way to incorporate it into an art activity!


In case you’ve never read Sneezy the Snowman, he melts over and over again because he’s too cold and keeps trying to warm himself up by drinking hot chocolate, sitting in a hot tub, and standing by a fire.

Here’s a link to a reading of Sneezy the Snowman on YouTube:


First we painted snowmen and decorated them and then, using straws, we blew our snowmen into oblivion!


Looks like a melted snowman to me!


Next, we decided to take normal Play-Doh to the next level and draw on it!


Each child got their own hunk of white Play-Doh and then took to it with markers.



And once they’d finished drawing on it, we mixed it up with great success! Beautiful!


Played with our Play-Doh…


And even practiced our letters.

Our end result: Play-Doh as unique as each child’s imagination and a great future toy!


We also tried our hand at replicating snowflakes!


All we had to do was place tape on watercolor paper in the shape of snowflakes…




And pull the tape off!


Not one snowflake like any other!


With Pajama Day coming up and yet another book we all love, we started making our very own red pajamas from all manner of materials, including tape, noodles, and glitter.

Here’s a link to a reading of Llama Llama Red Pajama on YouTube:



After we were finished decorating our pajamas, we could move on to the next step of making sure we put heads, hands, and feet on our pajamas.


Because headless pajama would be scary – Eek!


Some of us wanted to use yarn for our hair and others just used pencils and crayons.


But either way, we drew our faces, painted our hands, and stamped our feet and soon had…


Pajama clad versions of ourselves to take home on Pajama Day!


We also painted many a picture over the past few weeks, something we quite love to do.


You just can’t go wrong with paint!



Our creations included this car, which looks like it came straight out of a children’s book…


And the Moaning Lisa!


We circled back around to snowflakes and tried our hand at decorating them too.



Once more, not a snowflake too similar!


We had a few sensory tables thrown into the mix as well!


Here, our biodegradable packing peanuts are dissolving in water…


Being squished by children…


and rolling around in a bucket of shredded paper “snow!”

Can you tell yet how desperately we are hoping it will snow very very soon?


Finally, we built things, drew things, and just played and had fun!


Wiki Sticks!


Spaghetti and Meatballs!


Melty Beads



Loose Parts



Look at that structure!




It’s only a snapshot – I take at least a hundred pictures a week – but hopefully it brings you into our world of art and exploration. Until next time!

~ Miss Kt, Clubhouse Kids Teacher & Atelierista (Art Teacher)

A Blast From the (Recent) Past

Hey y’all, it’s been a while since we last posted, but – oh buddy, let me tell you – this holiday season has been crazy! From Trick-or-Treating with all the kids at Halloween, to Thanksgiving, to our annual Christmas party, to New Years, it has been a very busy time. Just add fifty odd children, some snow, sand, freezing pipes, and general chaos and that about sums us up! But, in the best way possible. We’re getting ready and raring for a fantastic next year, but first I think we should do one final recap of some of the fun things we did last year. I’ll warn you now, it’s going to be a long one!

Reminiscence #1: Pumpkin Slime!


Between Halloween and Thanksgiving, at the height of fall wonder, we decided it would be fun to make some pumpkin slime. All we needed was some hot water, glue, borax, and orange food coloring and we were in business. Our end result was gooey and slimy, slick, but sticky. Sometimes it stretched out and sometimes it snapped right in half. We could mold it into different shapes and watch as it melted back into a gelatinous mess. It was a great opportunity to explore a new material and tons of fun too!


Making the “Great Wall of Slime-uh” (Hehe, get it? Great Wall of China, Slime-uh?)


We also really enjoyed writing our names in slime before it became one giant puddle!


And, last but not least, where would we be without a slime highway to get us from place to place!


Reminiscence #2: Preserving Fall Leaves

If you’ve never tried to preserve some fall flora between two sheets of wax paper, I’d highly recommend it! All you have to do is find some leaves, grass, or flowers, and gently iron them between wax paper. Depending on what you choose to preserve and what you want it to look like, you could create a great little picture like the one below. Alistair was very careful in his placement of his leaves and grass so that he could create a wonderful scene of two leaf people. I personally think they are Mom and Dad leaves and are walking hand in hand with their leaf baby. He even gave them smiling faces! Too cute!


Reminiscence #3: Magnifying Glass Fun

Remember when you were a kid and you first discovered the strange and mystifying magnifying glass? Of course you spent the next hour running around your house or school, magnifying everything humanly possible. But, no matter what you found and made big, nothing ever compared to making your own face strange and distorted. Gigantic eyes – all the better to see you with, and a huge mouth – all the better to eat… er, smile at you with!



Reminiscence #4: Construction Zone Ahead


Here at Miss Amy’s, we really really like to build things. In the above picture, Astrid decided to craft Santa’s sleigh and if she’d had the time to build eight reindeer and hook them up to the sleigh, she’d have done that too. And, by golly, if she could have put in an “electronic chip,” she’d have been well on her way to making it fly “like a drone.” Isn’t imagination wonderful?!


A few other things that have been built lately include Astrid’s skyscraper (above), two lovely “tornado” proof shelters for when Hurricane Kt hit, and sand castles, just for the joy of experiencing what packed wet sand can be sculpted into.


Speaking of packed wet sand, some of the children decided to test their engineering skills and wanted to build sand bridges. They started out trying to use the wet stand to build bridges above ground, above a river they’d dug out, but it wasn’t working. The sand kept falling off and breaking. It just wasn’t sturdy enough. That’s when they got the idea to try building bridges by digging tunnels. When the sand is dry, tunneling never works, but this time, they were able to make a complex system of tunnels or bridges. They even tried digging a tunnel so big that they could crawl through it!


Reminiscence #5: Wearable Creations

When I was a kid, I remember spending endless hours pretending to be different animals. Sometimes I was a bird sitting on a nest of pine needles I’d scraped together around myself and sometimes I was a big cat, stalking through grass and hunting my prey. But, no matter what I was doing, I imagined myself transformed into that creature. At the time, it was the best I had. I didn’t have access to tons of paper and glue, scissors, tape, and string. I only had my own imagination. The children here though, have far more. Instead of just imagining they are a shark swimming through the water, they can make it real.


I don’t know about you, but that’s one terrifying shark to me!

Some of the older kids like to make other things they can wear too. The other day Astrid made a wonderful paper and string headband that I wore almost the entire day, as well as a funny mesh hat. And not long after that, Raleigh decided he’d lost on eye in battle and needed to make a spectacle so he could see.


Reminiscence #6: “Shadows”

Oh my goodness, since the kids discovered this, it has been one of the most exciting and fun things to do on a bright sunny morning. When the sunlight shines in through the windows, the children with grab anything that reflects light and cast “shadows,” as they call them, around the room. Then the other children will chase the shadows and try to catch them as the shadow-throwers move them erratically. Sometimes I feel like a disco ball has just dropped from the ceiling with the number of little light balls that are flying around the room!



Reminiscence #7: Miscellaneous Moments


We also decorated gingerbread cookies. Tasty!


And saw the creation of this amazing little frog!


We were the best of friends…


And we were thankful for every minute!

Thank you all for such a great year! I had a blast and I’m looking forward to making this coming year even better. There is truly, never a dull moment here, even when all we are doing is playing in the sandbox. We are always learning and growing, learning about physics, chemistry, biology, language, love, the works! And always growing into our best selves. This is the place to be. We love it here and we hope you do to. Happy New Year everyone!

~ Miss Kt, Clubhouse Kids Teacher & Atelierista (Art Teacher)

Is It Dead?

For the first time in a long time, there was a chill in the air, a nose nipping cold that warned of the impending winter. The wind blew restlessly through the crystal clear sky causing Camille to scrunch tighter into herself. Though the sun was shining down from the cloudless heavens, she had no hope of warming her skin in its rays. She was simply too small, her legs too stubby, her limps too frozen to make the long journey to the sidewalk where she would find the balmy sanctuary. So instead, Camille curled up into a little ball. She was determined to outlast the cold. Surely, given enough time, it would warm up and she could gather the strength to make the trek. Settling in, Camille had just accepted her fate when the ground started shaking. Giant feet fell from the sky, stamping all around her. It was terrifying! Fearful for her life, she rolled herself into the smallest ball she could. She was trying to look dead, trying to hide in plain sight and at first, it seemed to be working.

“Look! A caterpillar!” Blaire yelled, stooping down to prod the little ball with his fingers.

When Camille didn’t move immediately, Blaire grew concerned. Poking at her again, this time with more oomph, Blaire vocalized, “Is it dead?”

Becoming aware that there was a potential pet caterpillar in the works, another child ran over to see what was happening. Falling to his knees by Blaire, the other child, named Lenny, watched as Blaire nudged Camille a third time.

“Maybe he got stepped on,” Blaire announced, a sense of prideful satisfaction lacing his tone.

In Blaire’s mind, there could be no other solution. The caterpillar was curled up and not moving. Death was the answer.

“Let’s step on him more!” Lenny replied enthusiastically, thinking that if Camille was already dead, squishing her guts all over the floor wouldn’t matter one way or another.

“NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOO!” Camille screamed in her tiny caterpillar voice, trying to wiggle out of her ball. But, before she could manage that much movement, another voice echoed her sentiment.

“What?! No! Don’t step on it! That’s not very nice. How would you like it if someone came out of nowhere and stepped on you?”

Lenny looked back over his shoulder in the direction of the voice with an apologetic and simultaneously guilty face, putting his foot back down on the ground without crushing Camille. Breathing a small sigh of relief, Camille relaxed, but only a little. She still had no idea what the two boys hovering over her had in store for her.

“Please don’t hurt me,” she whimpered.

Meanwhile, above her, the boys were oblivious to her pleas and lost in their own world of deduction.

“Maybe he’s sleeping,” Blaire said, rolling her over to see if she would move at all.

“I think he’s dead,” Lenny disagreed, “But, he can still be our pet caterpillar. Let’s go get a bucket.”


Running off to get a bucket, the boys left Camille to herself. Not sure what being a “pet caterpillar” would mean and already concerned given that just moments ago they wanted to step on her, Camille tried her hardest to unravel, but she was just too weak. Before she knew it, the boys were back and had scooped her up into a cold steel bucket. Thankfully though, they didn’t do much to her. Most of their conversation was still centered around whether or not she was alive.

“I’m alive! I’m alive!” she yelled, but to no avail.

“Hey, let’s go put some sand in the bucket for him,” Blaire decided, already up and running off to the sandbox with Lenny in tow.

When they got down to the sunny sandbox, they plopped the bucket down and started sprinkling sand on top of her. Spluttering, Camille ever so slightly shook off the granules. It was the smallest of movements, but it was enough to get her moving. Down here in the sandbox, she was bathed in sunlight. Its beams were soaking into her body and it was like waking up after a long long nap. Little by little, she started to stretch out. Despite her squirming though, she was still being drenched in sand.

Suddenly, the same voice that saved her life from earlier appeared again, “Blaire, hand me the bucket for a minute. Are you sure the caterpillar is dead?”

“He’s not moving,” Blaire answered.

“Just let me see the bucket for a sec, buddy.”

Reluctantly, Blaire handed over the bucket and a giant brown eye swam over its rim, staring down at her. Knowing that this person was the only one who thought she wasn’t dead, Camille renewed her stretching efforts. Slowly she unfurled her whole body and made a show of shaking herself off.

“Blaire, look! See? It’s moving. The caterpillar’s not dead,” the voice announced, letting the boys peer into the bucket as Camille danced away to prove the statement true.

“Yeah!” Lenny yelled enthusiastically, “Caterpillar’s alive!”

“Come on! Let’s go play with him,” Blaire said.

“Okay,” Lenny nodded, following Blaire back up to the porch, musing about the caterpillar as he went, “Maybe he likes the sun…”

From that moment on, the boys and Camille had a lot of fun together. Warmed from her time in the sun, returning to the porch was not a problem and the boys were much kinder to Camille once they knew she was alive and crawling around. All day they played together, Blaire and Lenny making sure nobody stepped on Camille. It was so much fun! And at the end of the day, the boys let Camille loose and everybody went home to sleep soundly and play again another day.


~ Miss Kt, Clubhouse Kids Teacher

Robots: Phase 2

Today we have gone 3-dimensional with our robot building and exploration.


It is fascinating to listen to the children describe what they are building and what each part is on their robot. Some children focus on the outside of the robot…structure. Others, are more concerned with the inside…function. Robots open up to reveal batteries, gears, or other elements. Some have propellers and other special features.



And all of these rockin’ robots are made with our recyclables and other rather random items from the tinker bins– caps, lids, old tubes, bottles, twist-offs, ties, and stray bits, plus tin cans and painted water bottles and play dough cups.  A little duct tape and some hot glue seals the deal.


Robots: Phase 1

Robot exploration has begun these last two weeks in the fours/fives classroom and our atelier speaks to the ways children can build skills while building ‘bots. They began today with simple robot images copied on paper which they combined with shapes they cut from recycled construction paper and their own robot-part drawings. Although the three elements were separate activities, they quickly evolved into a sort of robot factory on the table, with imaginative combinations of drawn, cut, colored and collaged robots.

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The ability to choose helped some children begin with a skill they were already comfortable with (such as coloring) and then challenge themselves to try  one they might be less adept at (cutting), and to combine them. As we progress with our robot building, it will be exciting to see the robots that take form from working in 3-D with various materials. And I can only imagine the number of C3POs and R2D2s we are going to end up with. Stay tuned….

–Miss Lori,  Atelierista





Problem solving.

Over the last few weeks I have been observing the children in my care a little more closely than I usually do. I was looking for something to write about in this blog.

As I was watching the children play outside in our large sandbox, I soon realized that there is a whole lot of problem solving going on. I do of course realize that a large part of growing up is solving problems, in order to move forward and grow, both mentally and physically, but I don’t think that I had quite realized just how much problem solving there really was going on!

A lot of the time, we adults just act without thinking about what we are doing or why we are doing what we are doing. When a child asks us for help we are quick to do for the children what they need to figure out for themselves, not because we do not care, but because it is quicker or because we are tired and don’t want to deal with problem solving ourselves.

Oh no, the wagon wheel is stuck! How do we get it unstuck?

Oh no, the wagon wheel is stuck! How do we get it unstuck?

My first observation in our sandbox was a 3-year-old boy on a tricycle who pretended to be stuck, and who wanted me to come to his rescue. We have a concrete path that goes all the way around our very large sandbox, on which the children ride their tricycles, run or walk. We call this path the sidewalk. The boy had managed to get one of the tricycle wheels stuck between the sidewalk and the sand. My first impulse was to go over to him and lift him and his tricycle back up on the sidewalk, problem solved, quickly! Then I paused and thought to myself, no I will try something else. I asked the boy what he could do to get back up onto the sidewalk himself. He just shrugged his shoulders and told me that he didn’t know what to do. I was not convinced that he had even stopped to consider any options at all in that short time of space. I waited, giving him some more time to think about his problem and then I wondered out loud what could be done to solve his dilemma. By this time, several other children had gathered around us, curious to see what was going on. I explained what the problem was and asked them if they had any ideas on how to help our friend.

How can I get my trucks unstuck? Perhaps a bucket and a shovel will help?

How can I get my trucks unstuck? Perhaps a bucket and a shovel will help?

After some serious contemplation, several suggestions were offered: “We can put the tricycle back on the sidewalk”. “We can push the tricycle back up onto the sidewalk”. “I think that he (the boy on the trike) should get off first”. During the discussion I had taken a step back, both to observe the situation but also not to interfere with their young minds in problem solving mode. Before long, both tricycle and boy were back on the sidewalk again. Now the boy pretended to get stuck every 10 feet or so! When he asked me for help, I just smiled at him and said “What shall we do?”, and several children would offer both advice and help. All of a sudden, toy trucks and toy wagons had their wheels stuck in the sand and needed rescuing! Children’s feet got buried and needed digging up!

Where is that cup?

Where is that cup?


Buckets from our outdoor kitchen were lost and needed finding! There were problems everywhere and the children were eager to find solutions to them all!

Another day, again in our great sandbox, our director had put several tree stumps in the sand, for the children to climb and balance on. One of my 2-year old students loves these tree stumps! He is very agile, very determined and unafraid. As soon as we go outside he runs to these tree stumps, to climb and balance on them. Two of the stumps were positioned a little farther apart from each other than the rest, so my young friend was not able to walk from one to the other.

Balancing on tree stumps.

Balancing on tree stumps.

He reached for my hand, to help him. With my help, he was now able to jump from one stump to the other, with great delight, I may add. I was a bit concerned about his safety, knowing that he was going to try to jump between the stumps without adult supervision, as soon as I turned my back to him, something that was unknown to him, beyond his capabilities. The next time the boy reached for my hand I told him that he should try it on his own. I stayed nearby to observe him and to make sure that he didn’t jump on his own. When the boy got to the gap in the stumps he stopped and tried several tactics. He somehow realized that he was not going to be able to just walk across. He tried to touch the stump with his tippy toes. He got off the stump and into the sandbox and climbed up onto the next stump. He tried crawling across. Once he had tried all these techniques, he was able to reach his leg far enough in front of himself that he only needed to make a small jump to get to the other side. Problem solved. Success!

Jump for joy - the problem is solved!

Jump for joy – the problem is solved!

Children are natural problem solvers. By giving them time and opportunity to solve their own problems we are actually helping them to grow. Children’s ability to do things for themselves will give them the self-confidence that they need in order to tackle bigger and more complex problems all throughout their lives. We all have to start out small and build on what knowledge we have. Our job as adults is to help children become independent and we can do this by helping them feel competent and confident that there is a solution to their problem and that we are confident in them that they can find this solution for themselves. Of course, from time to time, we can all use a little help from our friends.

– Miss Maria, Teacher for the 2’s Class.