It was a rainy day, and the children jumped in muddy puddles, painted leaves, and cooked many foods in the mud kitchen. One child went to the creek to stack blocks, one of her favorite early years indoor or outdoor activities. As I got closer to her, one curious child came up to examine the pak choi paint; she is my wonder child – she loves flowers. I noticed she had broken a flower from the plant. It was her second time doing it before I saw her touch the caterpillar.
Before I caught sight of my wonder child touching the caterpillar on the Pak/ Bak Choi plant, I asked one lad how the caterpillar felt. He was stroking the caterpillar when I asked him, and he said – it felt like water. I asked him why it felt that way, and he said – it rained. It is important for me to pause and listen to children, I thought he would say it was soft, but clearly, it did feel like water. Meanwhile, my wonder child is touching the caterpillar with the flowers – she doesn’t like touching critters with her bare hands.
My wonder child sparked an activity – the children started to pick flowers to feed the caterpillars (this event was not recorded on video). During the summer months, we raise caterpillars and feed them; the children have experience doing that. I was happy to observe their thinking while attempting to feed these caterpillars yellow flowers.
If the arrows weren’t here, would you see the caterpillars?
If I didn’t slow down I couldn’t see the children.
If I didn’t put worksheets away, I would be stressed and not enjoy rainy day activities with the kiddos.
If I still operated a traditional school, I would be missing the essence of childhood.
See a short video documenting our rainy day encounter with the caterpillars.
Happy playing and observing in your Early Years Environment – xoxo Suzette Salmon – Miss Sue