I have been a fan of Bev Bos, the Guru of Early Childhood Play, for a long time now. She is a Renowned Early Childhood Expert, known for her view on Early Childhood Play. When I went to the local Smart Start I found a book, Tumbling Over the Edge: A Rant for Children's Play by Bev Bos & Jenny Chapman. It was incredible, I love to read how she allows the children space and freedom to grow... Using every part of themselves, all their senses. She creates an environment that promotes self discipline and responsibility of the young child. Bev Bos walks the walk and gets what she wants done. She started Roseville Community Preschool because she wanted a place that met the picture in her head of what a child's preschool should be like. She got it done.
Today we played, it was a beautiful day and we just played. We experimented with the left over green paint that I had saved from yesterday, Little Miss M found a pencil and paper and drew to her hearts content and then moved on to the Circle Time Center and pretended to be me. We had movement, singing, climbing and cooperation and none of it was teacher directed... and all that was while we were inside.
We moved to the yard and there was a lot of discussion of leprechauns. We found that if we dug deep enough we could find bits of gold (crushed rock and pebbles), so there must be leprechauns down there. The kids then turned to mud pie making and mud soup making... I saw in my backyard what I read about in Bev Bos' book (just with a little less water today, it was still a little chilly, so no rivers or lakes today).
Now, I can't provide for the uninterrupted flow of play that she can at her school, I don't have the plethora of volunteers, visitors and parents at my disposal, but I can definitely create an environment that lends itself to the self discovery and security that children need. In my own way. I may never be able to let the kids freely move from inside to outside as they want, but I have made sure my indoor space and outdoor space is as child centered as possible. A place where discovery and messiness is encouraged... Thankfully, I have really great parents who don't mind wet, messy clothes!!!
A Messy Kid is a Happy Kid!!