You see snowballs, but I see a train. All aboard!

We just can’t wait to see what our early learners will come up with next in our outdoor learning time. We love to see their confidence sore when we  share the excitement of their imaginative ideas. This play started with 5 rundown snowballs. The children had played on these snowballs numbers of times, but this time these snowballs transformed into a train. All it took was a suggestion from one child and other creative and positive children to follow this idea and see where it would go.

T: Look guys. It’s a train. We’re riding a train.

TW: Let’s go somewhere.

D: Let’s go to my grandma’s.

That was easy. Away they went.

Sometimes educators feel like they shouldn’t interrupt children at play in fear that they will dominate it or steer it away from the direction children wanted it to go. I believe it’s the collaboration of children and educators, the co-construction of play, that can bring an extra rich experience to play and learning. Educators have a responsibility to listen carefully to the children’s ideas and enter play delicately.


The children were not inquiring about trains here, but they were using them in dramatic play. We heard the children using lots of numbers in their dialogue about timing and distance. They appeared quite interested in the different stops and how far away they the next stop was. We simply started by asking questions about how many kilometres that was. We gave the children a unit of measure to play with. While many of them had a limited understanding of what that distance looks like in  real-life, it sparked something in them to ask questions about distance and road signs. It was a small spark that could lead to endless learning about distance, measurement, timing, road signs, maps, etc.


All it took was an interest in their play, listening to their ideas, and asking a question.


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