The joy of snails and puddles!

Yesterday we took our pre-school children for the regular weekly outdoor experience. Our plan, this week, was to take a tent with us for children to help to erect and play in. The children were quite excited about this and helped to put the tent up. They also enjoyed playing, ‘mums and dads’ and ‘house.’ However what the children were really interested in became obvious only on our way home. As we walked along, one small child stopped to look at a snail. The other children gathered around and one small child told us, ‘it’s Bob the snail.’ He remembered seeing Bob last time, he said. After five minutes we continued on our way, 3 metres on we stopped again, here was ‘Bob’s friend.’ After five minutes we set off again, then someone spotted a wonderful deep and dirty puddle, of course everyone had to jump in and out for at least five minutes. I hope the passing motorists enjoyed the sight as much as we did. This became the pattern for our journey, snail, puddle, snail, puddle. Later, on arriving back at the Prepatoria, I had time to reflect on the morning’s activities. We adults had planned in a wonderful morning of fun and learning but what would the children remember? They had certainly demonstrated their interests, they were given the time to follow their interest, investigate the snails, ask questions and explore the depth of the puddle! We will always try to be reactive to children’s interests as well as being proactive in planning great activities and experiences for all children.