Safe Spaces

When I look through these photos, I am reminded how important it is to offer children a safe place; not just in the physical world but in the spiritual and emotional sense. It is our job to support children to explore their ideas, thoughts, world views, concerns and wonderings. I think we do a pretty good job of this at Nature School; we invite children to have their own ideas and develop a strong sense of themselves. Perhaps there is more room to open the doors for them to think about who they are and who they want to become as people ( not as in “What do you want to be when you grow up”). What qualities do they want to possess now, in one month and next year? Is there a place for this type of thinking?

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The Eagles have a blast climbing up and down the “mountain”. We hear lots of excited voices as they negotiate their steps around each other. We also see them reaching out to one another to assist in getting up.

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Cyrus waits patiently for Ibrahim to cross the bridge. Will these two work on building something else together?

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Ariel supports Araceli as she gingerly steps onto the bridge. It is lovely to see children caring for each other.

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An impromptu song between Tricia and Avery and Misuzu and Elsa. Connections like these, relaxed and in the moment, create healthy and balanced relationships.

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Vivian, our practicum student, reads to a small group of Owls. Reading stories in a calm and unrushed manner allows time for questions, ideas and predictions.

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The Owls document what they see around them. What are they noticing? What captures their interest?

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Theia, Rafe and Ayleen discuss what they are drawing and seeing. Sharing work creates pride and strengthens friendships.

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Thinking the children will use the bowls for collecting special items proves to be an assumption on our part. These children are more interested in filling and dumping and then scraping the bowl along the gravel to make sound. It is a good reminder to allow space for children to use a material in their own way, without having a preconceived idea.

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Great minds at work figuring out ways to connect the tubes. Damon, Mason and Jason work independently to build something that is structurally sound. Will they end up putting their pieces together to make a bigger unit?

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Miles relaxes in the tall grass.

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Ezra and Andy work together to make this speaking device. How can we grow this idea next week for these two children?

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Platon counts rocks, one by one. It is interesting to watch children as they play with numerical concepts.

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Finn makes a butterfly catcher; he waits patiently for a butterfly to land on his contraption. What is interesting to him- the catching part, the butterfly? I want to know more!

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Elsa works on this gorgeous piece of art work.

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These chalkboards are a gift from a preschool parent. The non-permanent quality of a chalkboard is so wonderful as it allow the artist to quickly create and then re-create into something new.

‘Till the next post,

Emily