At Today’s Family, we love all weather equally. Yes, we absolutely love perfectly clear sunshine days, but we also love the rain. Rain changes the way the air smells, there are puddles to jump in, and we feel the water splash on our faces. But mostly, we love the rain because it turns most of the dirt on the playground into mud, giving children a different tactile experience in a familiar space.
Today, we’re sharing another one of our older centre stories, one that happened a couple of years ago almost to the day. There had been rain the night before and the children were excited to go explore the ways their playground had changed. Together with their Early Childhood Educators, the children went digging through the mud, looking for worms or other bits of life they could find.
Ms. Jen, one of the ECEs, used a larger shovel to loosen parts of the mud, and then the children dove in with smaller buckets and shovels to look for their quarries. At first, the children couldn’t find anything, and so to keep spirits high, Ms. Jen sang a song with them: “Come out little worms, we want to play!”
Eventually, the children found a white grub in the mud. Ms. Jen showed the grub to all of the children who were interested and explained that they didn’t want white grubs in their garden. “Grubs can hurt our plants,” she explained. “But we like worms, because they help our plants grow bigger.”
A little while later, the children unearthed their first worm. Ms. Jen was a little anxious about how the children would react to the worms, but she had nothing to be worried about. When she pulled out a baby worm from the garden, one of the children actually called it cute! When another worm fell off of the shovel, other children were worried about it and picked it back up and put it into the bucket. They all had a very caring attitude towards these little garden worms.
This centre story shows us that even a simple change in scenery or their surroundings can be a valuable learning opportunity for children – if you know where to look. Try looking with your child at familiar situations that have changed slightly and see what new lessons can pop up.