Monday, November 12, 2007

Tips for Preschool Teachers

Imagination is the key word in today's idea. What better place to use imagination than in Preschool where our children are the masters!

We have such an opportunity, and I believe duty, to provide the right environment for kids to tap into their imagination to design and build their play space in the classroom.

I like to clear an area in the classroom before everyone arrives. Then when the children arrive their interest is sparked by this VACANT space. Sometimes I put large Question Marks"?" on paper around the area.

We then hold a circle time meeting in that area. I have them close their eyes and tell them that can design the space to be whatever pretend environment they would like. (You can offer suggestions, such as "Play House", Post Office, Grocery Store, and believe it or not, a $1 Dollar Store. These stores are becoming so popular in the US that children love browsing through them.)

We all lie in a circle and stare up at the ceiling and decide what it will be and then where we will put the walls, counters, furniture..whatever the case may be. Let them help to tape out the area with masking tape and then to go throught the classroom to decide what could be useful in their new area.

Bring out your storage boxes which should include items they can use to set up the station. If it is a store, they will need shelves, items to sell, pretend money, cash register. If they are playing house, they will need kitchen items, sitting area, bed (use a nap cot for this).

I'm sure you get the idea but the best part is to let them make most of the decisions. If you feel it is questionable, use this time to get them to explain their idea and why they think it is a good one.

THEN....let the imaginative play begin. This is an activity that can stay up for days so that all of the children get a chance to have their turns to interact with each other and to try different roles...shopper, store owner, parent, child, etc.

This needs a good half hour for them to be able to truly enjoy the experience.

Imagination and self expression is such an important part of preschool. Allow the play and role playing to teach them about their world.

Have fun and enjoy the moments.

Until later,


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