A Glimpse Into Our First Days of School

By Susan Eisman

Let’s Go!  Steering wheel dashboards allow us to transport ourselves. 

Presenting our newest addition to our nature playscape:  Steering wheel/dashboards. We purchased steering wheels from a traditional playground equipment company and mounted them onto portable stands to allow for varied set-up locations.  We added an array of switches and gadgets to support fine motor coordination and to fuel the imaginative options for our vehicles.  Keeping these simple and open-ended allows them to be spaceships, trains, cars, buses, firetrucks and on…

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These dashboards are just the thing to encourage imaginative play, turn-taking, co-pilot action and lots of verbalizing.  Ie.  “Quick!  We are about to collide with an astroid!”  “Turn it to super-speed so we can rescue the tigers!”  When I shared my idea for these, Kendon (Tennessee) named that’s precisely what he would have enjoyed as a kid.   He immediately transformed a concept into a well-loved reality. Thanks, Kendon!

Connecting Over Snack

As we eat together, we notice each other.  At the beginning of the year, adults coach children to share their names, noticing who is sitting near them.  We can support conversation, tracking what we have in common.  We taste different foods and notice who likes which foods.

We also note the various forms of food and their origin. We’ve munched on sunflower seeds while checking out golden sunflowers, and ate corn kernels and popcorn while checking out the husked corn cob.

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We welcomed the surprise visit of Hilde, the baby pig!  Hilde let children pet her and feed her handfuls of grass while twirling her tail like a pinwheel.

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