Apr 26, 2017

AnjiPlayDate #13: Wrapping it up for the season

Our final play date for this series!

Today, two of the rotating cake stands were overlapping for awhile.  
 You can see here where one kid figured out that when one stand was moved, the other one rotated as well:

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I was waiting for more play to develop along those lines when, suddenly, a helpful adult intervened:

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I know the intentions were good, but .... this is why the Anji Play rule for grown-ups is "hands down."  I set it up again with the stands overlapping, but the kids no longer took an interest in it because now it was something I had intentionally set-up (and it wouldn't have felt really authentic to me if they HAD played with it at that point).  Sigh.

Instead, they were deeply engaged in the clay itself today for the first time in awhile:

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Love this stack of clay:

This little one needed to get closer to the action, so she just climbed right up on the table.  Stayed there awhile too, playing quite peacefully.
And check out this beautiful "bird head"


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We made loooong tunnels today!
(my mistake -- apparently they are MAGIC tunnels!)

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And the big box finally got ripped!  It was used first as a slide,

And then as a hideout with a sneaky window:
And this little one was back and trying on bucket hats again!
Out in the children's reading area / block building area, there was a lot of action going on.  Here's two small examples:

Knock it down, build it back up!
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What do you think this triangle might be?
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A view of today's Play Story table:
Here's an interesting play story where he asked his mom to label all the parts, but then drew through her words with a marker.
One final shout-out of thanks to my amazing volunteer, Jane.  She is a retired preschool teacher and her assistance with this program has been absolutely essential.  I am so grateful that she is a part of this endeavor!
Finally, if you participated in any of this season's AnjiPlayDate programs, we would love to get your feedback about your experiences.  Please take a moment to complete this survey.  Your replies will help us to improve the program for next fall.

We are busy finalizing details of this summer's Wild Rumpus program.  Locals, mark your calendars for Mondays (east side/ Reindahl Park) and Wednesdays (west side / Haen Family Park) from 4:30-7:00.  The food carts will be there or you're welcome to pack along a picnic dinner.  See you at the park!

Apr 4, 2017

AnjiPlayDate #12: "Parents become learners of their children"

We split the group again today and that was still a good idea.

This was the first time I've seen anyone try to make a ramp with the pop-up tunnels.  Sorry for the blurry photo, but she didn't stick with this idea too long today and I only got this one shot.  I'm curious to see if this idea goes anywhere in future sessions.
 This little guy built a tower of tubes several different times.
after it got knocked down, he built it again, then explained to his mom that it was a campfire (see the red part?)


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This was his play story from today:

"This is my camera!  Click!"
Also, there was a lion:

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This is what happens when you spin the clay REALLY fast!
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And this is what happens when you stop the spinning from underneath the plate part:
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And this is what happens when it gets a little loud (kiddos regulating their own environment):
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 I saw quite a few instances of parents reading to kids during the program today, both in the meeting room play space and out in the Children's Reading area play space.

 "Look at our long road!"
 Check out this doll house!
I love how she's incorporated this puzzle from the children's reading area into her play:

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 A group of kiddos spent a long time working on this:

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 And then more joined in to make it even more elaborate.
 I like this new technique for carrying a bucket (with a bungee cord hooked onto your shirt collar).

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we also had a few older kids join us while they were on Spring Break and look what amazing things they can build!


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This was an innovative way to put away the tubes!

here are two more play stories from this week with some really rich language!


In one of the parent journals this week, a mom wrote,
"Why do we strive to do this different kind of parenting during Anji Play?
to give children play freedom,
in a safe place
where risky play is allowed,
conflict between children runs its natural course
& where parents pause from being teachers of their children and become learners of their children in their loving observations."

Mar 29, 2017

AnjiPlayDate #11: Space makes a [huge] difference!

After the last two weeks of trying to play in our not-so-huge meeting room, this week I decided to roll the carts of blocks out into the children's area to divide the play into two spaces.  WOW!  Check out the things that got built:



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Roller Thingy

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Kids also played with the toys that we normally keep in our children's library section and that was fine too:

check out the nice vocabulary use in this video:

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Some even read books:

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Back in the meeting room,  play had changed too, with more room to spread out:

longest. tunnel. ever.
 peek-a-boo!

 hiding under the table!

 "picking wildflowers"

the clay and the turntables moved out of the corner and onto the floor:



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This was some fun "roly-poly" action!

The kids this week did a great job with clean-up, but I realized that I might need two boomboxes!
 This play story was done by a 1st grader on spring break.  I love how she color coordinated her marker with the part of the story she was telling!
 And this one has a color-coded KEY to tell you which drawing has which caption!  Love it.
Here are some other play stories -- can you tell what they're about?

and check out the practice writing on this one!



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