Today we talked about our favorite foods. We checked out some fruits and vegetables in an A to Z fruits and veggies book. Then we made a favorite food collage to add to our books. Not surprisingly, mac and cheese and Spaghetti were very popular.
Outside, there was a group of Ninjas. They were practicing their sword play. Unfortunately for me, they were using me as the practice dummy. This is a normal development for many kids. It is a chance for them to test out their power and ability to keep safe and protect themselves.
Today’s game of Ninja had three players. When one player approached a new player and pointed his stick, the new player said, “I don’t like that!” This allowed me to remind everyone that if others don’t want to play you need to stop. This group told the new person that they were ninjas and asked if she wanted to play. She said yes, and the game continued without incident for about 15 minutes.
One of the kids pretended to stab another saying, “I won.” When the player was obviously upset about “not winning” the first replied, “this time you can win”, at which point he started the process again showing her where to stab him. She did and said, “I win!”
Now, I could have stopped this play as soon as I saw the sticks being picked up but look at what they would have missed out on. Conflict resolution, team playing, and problem solving at least. Who knows what else they picked up regarding treating each other with respect and listening to one another.
If you notice kids “fighting” and are not sure whether to stop it, step back and watch for a bit. Is anyone trying to leave the play? Are their faces relaxed and happy or angry and tense? I like to ask the participants if they are playing a game. This gives kids who are uncomfortable with the play to say “no” at which point I will suggest to the others that they find someone who would like to play that game.
My thanks to Kristen and Trisha for all of their help today!