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The Simple Things

The Simple Things

While visiting the Rexburg Head Start Playground I witnessed a fascinating event.  While the teacher was leading a lined up group of 3-5 year olds in the game of bowling, two boys had something else in mind for their outdoor fun.  They had put a cardboard box with both ends open over themselves.  In doing so, these boys were attached and had to rely on each other cooperatively for their "game".  The language used included positional and directional vocabulary.  One boy said, "We have to turn that way to get where we were going."  The other replied, "Where are we going?"  "Over to the house but we have to go together."    The children had to use awareness of body space, move their legs together and at the same speed so that they wouldn't fall

As teachers, we pour through catalogs looking for the right "toy" for what we want to teach.  As parents we think we have to have the latest educational toy with all the bells and whistles.  Many parents remember the toddler playing at Christmas with the box the toy came in.  How many things did that box become in the imagination of that child?

I don't remember learning the magic of the "the simple things" but I know I had the connection in high school before I got my education in Early Childhood Education.  I was the favorite aunt.  No, I didn't have expensive toys or money to buy my nieces things.  I had the dress up clothes, the costume jewelry, the magazines, collage materials, the homemade play dough, and the plasticware, pots, pans and utensils from the kitchen drawer.  During this treasured time of just playing together my nieces and I learned so much about and from them.

In our busy world, are we all taking the time and realizing the value of the simple things?  Those Head Start boys probably don't realize what they gained on that day.  I know they weren't disappointed in not learning the rules of bowling.  They are the type of children that will make their own rules.  We call them leaders in the Adult World.  I encourage parents and teachers to look at the potential of that box, paper, hat, old clothes, jewelry that is thrown away or not offered to your child or student.  How many things can it become?  The answer is only in that child's imagination and it is endless.

-Kathy Duplessis

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