Looking around the classroom I noticed that we have so many pieces of work demonstrating our explorations with blue and yellow. But now, when I look outside I see the fiery colors of fall – red, gold, orange. It got me thinking about how we need to do some more color exploration.
Just this thought gave me a huge rush of relief and excitement. In all the activity of these last few weeks of school I feel that simple exploration of materials has been lacking. How did that happen? Isn’t that one of the things our school is based upon?????
Well, out came little glass dishes, plastic droppers and watercolor paints.
When the children came in there were several squeals of delight. How wonderful! They remembered how to use the droppers and were soon hard at work. Discussions about what the colors were and what they could make by mixing them together.
“It is going to be pink”
“I am going to make gold. Like princess slippers”
“Look at my truck. It is all orangey”
Later in the morning, when they were busy elsewhere, I quietly refreshed the paints. Another rush of exploration occurred. This time one child discovered he could make bubbles in the paint with the dropper. How exciting! Soon all of the children were trying it. There needed to be a few reminders about keeping the paint on the tray!
Imagination is such a powerful thing isn’t it. I have been noticing that my students are developing their imaginations more and more recently. It is exciting to see. They are so involved in the worlds that they create that sometimes the line between the real world and the imagined world is a very fine one! It is fascinating to see how they navigate this. Often they do not seem to want to switch out of their imagined world. This can cause conflict.
This photo is of my daughter driving her car. She was playing independently, driving around the area where her friends were playing. As she drove around she was saying to herself “drive, drive”. She kept this up for such a long time! When it was time to go inside she demonstrated that she needed to drive her (imaginary) friend to her house and therefore was not ready to come inside yet. We compromised and agreed that she would drop her friend off at a bust stop and then park the car before coming inside. My daughter was happy with this and was then content to come in when ready.
Sometimes it can cause conflict between children. For example this morning one child (A) was pretending they were another child’s (M) mother. Suddenly the M no longer wanted to play but the A continued in the mother role. M became upset because A was not in fact her mother and A was not recognizing that this was no longer a game for M. It took some tactful suggestions to assist the children in working out a solution.
Hmm, I seem to have been focusing on the conflicts that can arise through imaginative play. How sad! I must apologize. In fact I love to watch imaginations at work. I find it truly magical, exciting and energizing. That children can have access to these wonderful worlds which they collaborate to create. It gives me hope that through working with children I can try to ensure this skill is not completely lost in my adulthood! I see that in the children the imagination is a powerful tool that enables them to develop a wider understanding of the world around them. how lucky I am to have a front row seat in observing this!