Thursday, December 8, 2011

"Hiding! Worm!"

Today while we were outside, enjoying the amazing late fall morning full of chilly shadows and warm sunshine I went about my normal task of raking leaves. It's a big job that everyone enjoys participating. “Rake! Rake” chanted SC and GW. They scoured the yard for the rakes, even handing me the large one. We jump through the piles that are created, talk about how the “leaves fall down” just like we do when we play.

Today was especially exciting. The leaves have been laying in piles on the yard for a few weeks now and it time to find places for them to decompose. The bottom later is already beginning this process which has encouraged various creatures to help out. As I worked hard to scrape up that thick layer of leaves I discovered a plethora of worms! Two of them were huge and there were many smaller ones as well.

"Wow", I said, pointing the worms.  "The worms were hiding under the leaves!"  Everyone was very excited at this discovery and hurried over to see what was up.  SC tried to pick one up but then got squimish.  I helped out and held out the worms for everyone to get a closer look.  T, GH and SC were the most interested.  'Worm" said GH over and over, pointing to my hand, or the hand of his friends T and SC.  SC really loved holding the worms and when it was time he helped to transfer most of the worms to the garden so they could find a long term home.  

As we walked back from the garden beds, I found GW laying in the leaves.  "Hiding!  Hiding" he said.  I laughed and we talked about how he was hiding.  It wasn't until he continued his game and a few of his friends joined in that he said "Hiding.  Worm.  Worm.  Hiding."  that I realized his game was acting out what had just happened.  This moment took me by surprise and brought us to a new realm of play that is slowly taking over the classroom!  These boys who entered in my care almost a year ago now as infants, testing out all of the physical aspects of their environment have made the leap into imaginative play!  I was so excited and talked to GW about his game, repeating what he said and adding a few wonders.  "I wonder why the worm was under the leaves?  I wonder how the worm moves?"  Everyone thought this was a great game and I had the warm excitement that fills you when the children who surround you do something really big.  

Oh, and I really love worms too.  I have been looking forward to the day when our first worm exploration would happen. 

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