One of the first questions the children asked about the outdoor classroom was, "Can you push me on the swing?" While we know that this would be exciting, and they would certainly love the experience, we want the children to be able to climb onto the swing by themselves (or with minimal support) before we will push them. This choice allows them to develop the strength, balance, and confidence it requires to reach the seat; this also adds a layer of safety to the experience. They have made a few attempts to climb onto it, and each time, we discuss how they feel (safe, etc.) about it. In the meantime, they have created a wonderful back and forth game that elicits so much joy and laughter, that it is infectious.
September 16, 2019
As children play, they typically set rules (unspoken or spoken) for the game, and because they do not want the game to end, they will often adjust the rules to include more people and their perspectives. There are times when there are only two children pushing the swing back and forth, while other moments include 2-5 children; occasionally, we even get to participate. They often negotiate where everyone should be standing, which way the swing should go, and whose turn it is to push/receive..
Their game requires so much strength, balance, and coordination, and we're seeing their skills grow and develop with each passing week.
Today, many of the children joined in. Some of them were observers, while others jumped right in to take a turn. Sylvie was smiling and laughing as she watched the rope go by once or twice, and then she ran over to take her turn to push it. They were discussing which way the rope should go "around the circle" and who should push it first.