As the week draws to a close we head towards an extra long weekend. And boy, doesn’t it come at the right time? For some, it’s time to get away, camping or travelling with family. For others, it’s time to catch up on all those jobs that get away from us as the busy-ness of our lives takes over. As we head towards it, we are reminded of how fleeting time is, and how fleeting childhood is. It seems before we know it, our children are heading out into the world with all we have given them, and we hope it’s both roots and wings. And we are reminded, and remind you, to take a moment to grab hold of these short and precious moments. The washing will wait (it already has)…but those little hands and toes are only this small once. Take a moment with your family to watch the clouds drift by, to soak in the last of the autumn sun, to breathe in your children, to really be. Perhaps in being together we will gain the memories that sustain us until our next long weekend… If you are looking for some suggestions of wonderful things to do together, check out Nature Play SA’s 45 Things To Do Before You’re 5.
Last week we introduced our inquiry question; Talking without words: How do children embody community through non-verbal communication? As we have been collecting data, we have come across many moments of silent connection, many times that children embody their sense of belonging and community through gesture, facial expression, action and body language. What is important is not so much what they are doing (smiling, making eye contact etc), but their intention. Whilst as educators we can never truly know what children intend through these moments, we can make guesses based on our understanding and knowledge of the particular child, and the context in which these actions take place. We have to listen carefully, and listen more. As we have listened, we have seen children demonstrate compassion and kindness as they bring children their belongings or comforters. As we have listened, we have seen children seek belonging and connection through mimicry and imitation, and have this reciprocated. As we have listened, we have seen children as active co-constructors of knowledge, observing and taking on the actions and perspectives of others and applying them within their play. As we have listened, we have seen children seek and contribute to emerging relationships with educators though physical proximity, contact, affection and connection. And as we continue to listen, we wonder what else we might see.