There will be times you will need to be on the floor playing with your children. There will be other times you need to stand back and watch. During these times of observation, study what your children are drawn to. Children learn in many ways and it is for this reason you must be open to thier interests. How they take information in and how they process it depends greatly on their interests and gender does tend to play a role in how information is moved along during the early years.
The Story: A Girl and Three Boys
I have a friend, who many years ago, had her five year old daughter tested for Kindergarten readiness. As part of the process, the assessment team grouped children being tested into groups of four and asked them to play together in the block center. They wanted to watch the children’s interactions. They were also looking to see if the children were leaders, followers, team players, solitary thinkers, commmunicators or problem solvers.
This little gal was placed in a group with three young boys. As they entered the block center, the boys sat down and immediately built a tall tower, with roads coming from the building. In no time at all, they were finished and ready to move to the next project. The little girl, however, stood to the side and watched. When the boys were done, she announced, “Now wait a minute. Look at this house. It won’t work at all. There is no kitchen, and where are the bedrooms going? We have to start all over!”
The little boys were more than surprised! LOL! But this young girl’s response was really no surprise at all. Even though there was no instruction on how to use the blocks, and the invitation to play was non-gender biased, gender did appear to play a role in the children’s approach to the equipment. This little girl, like most, looked at the details of the construction first. The little boys, like most, were looking at big picture.
I tell this story so it helps us remember, that how we set up learning environments or how we respond to our children’s play takes observation. They all need a variety of experiences. Be mindful and intentional. Children are impacted by developmental stages, learning styles, their position in birth order, their interests and their gender. Thier job is to live into what makes them tick! Our job is to give them the opportunity to thrive.
What makes me tick? What makes me tock?
Is it dolls or is it blocks?
My best friend likes to play with beads.
And her best friend takes time to read.
But I just like to play in dirt and find some worms down in the earth! –ck
Have a great Friday! I will see you again on Tuesday of next week. Have a safe and happy Memorial Day!
May 28, 2021