Mixed Toddlers - Newsletter
Mixed Toddlers -sandy kunz
After returning from our holiday break, the Mixed Toddlers have been enjoying all of the varied weather conditions that we have been encountering on our playground. We long for more snow, and I hear the children say things like: “ Look, there’s some snow out there! I can make a snow angel!” (Veda) . Most of the children are really happy about how the freezing and melting are providing us with mud, puddles, and ice. Isla has discovered the joys of digging in the mud, and created some interesting mud designs on the pavement and the bench of the picnic table. Sarah and Ceci have used the wet sand and mud to fill up the metal muffin pans. They walked all around the playground with them, searching for a place that would make a good oven to bake them in. This movement got Cassidy, Josie, and Griffin interested too, and everybody tried to make suggestions about where to bake the “muffins”. The bench at the front of the playground or underneath the picnic table seems to be their favorite kitchens. Meanwhile, Cheryl set up a wooden board on two boxes to serve as a kitchen board. Some people see it that way, while others think that the board is an invitation to carry around a big, heavy object. We do love to try out our muscles and coordination with lifting, carrying building with heavy and bulky objects. Willy, Griffin and Cassidy love to try to hit the wind chime hanging over the sandbox with their long-handled shovels. They are getting really good at warning each other to “move back!” “my turn”, “be careful!”. They do try to watch and not hit each other. We have started to pull each other in the sleds (when we have snow or not!), as well as pull each other in the big red wagon. Cassidy likes to pull Hazel in the sled, and Isla likes to pull Will. Josie hops in the sled and calls out for somebody to pull her, and Ceci, Anya and Veda all volunteer! Some days, we hang around on the porch, collecting the dripping water, or jumping into the muddy puddles that form underneath the drip line of the porch. Hazel often chooses the blocks or Duplos to work with on the riser on the porch. Tucker likes to play with the animal figurines that are stocked on the shelf on the porch. Hunter has been interested in the tool boxes on the porch, and carried the boxes over to the sand box to do some big work. Olenka puts the baby dolls into the wagon seats and works hard to buckle them in. Sarah and Ceci put their babies in the swings and give them pushes.
Inside, we are working more and more with play dough as well as pretend play. The play dough is rolled into snakes, balls, and flattened into pancakes. We love to put as much of it as we can into the jars, then put the lid on. The children gather up the cups and teapots from the play kitchen, and bring them over to the playdough table to pretend with. We make tea, coffee, birthday cake and muffins, of course! We then walk around the room, searching again for a good place to make into a kitchen or an oven to bake in. We sometimes pretend to talk on the phone while we wait for them to bake. All kinds of things can be envisioned as a phone- a piece of playdough, a block, or a small box. Many of the children are regularly bringing in a favorite stuffed animal or doll to play with and be comforted by during the day. These delightful friends from home often sit next to us at snack or lunch. They are fed and given something to drink during our pretend tea-parties. They sit and wait next to us on the bench while we take turns to wash hands. They sit on the table nearby as we color, paint or puzzle. And most importantly, they snuggle up with us on our cots as we look at books and settle in for our naps! It’s lovely to see how everybody knows not only who they belong to, but what their names are, and how important they are to the friend who brings them from home. These are some of the best signs of how we are really connected to each other, and how much we know and understand about each other in our little group!