Friday, March 30, 2012

cleaning easels

I don't know about you, but sometimes I forget that the preparation before an experience and the clean-up afterwards can be just as valuable learning opportunities as the experience itself.

I'm an impatient person, and a perfectionist to boot.  In my perfect world, families and children would arrive at preschool and everything for the day would be set out immaculately and invitingly for a day of fun filled play.  A cleaning fairy would dance behind the children, picking up, cleaning up and restoring order.

With the help of gentle reminders from my colleagues, I'm learning to let go, to take deep breathes and to involve the children every step of the way.

There are always enthusiastic volunteers for jobs like washing down the easels.  After all, soapy sudsy water, paint and sponges are a pretty irresistible combination.

In fact, the easel cleaners get so carried away that they move onto cleaning everything in the vicinity.

Including the children in all the day to day tasks involved in keeping our preschool community flowing smoothly - whether it is sorting the washing, hanging  up the hand towels, feeding the worms, choosing supplies for the craft table or washing down the tables - helps to develop a feelings of belonging and responsibility, independence and autonomy, team work and self confidence. 

And I learn to be patient and realise that we have all the time in the world.

What ways do you involve children in the day to day tasks at preschool - or at home?

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