Finding ways to express ourselves has arisen as a natural theme in Cohort 4 over the last month. Everyone's sense of drama and imagination is blossoming as they are becoming more and more interested in acting out the things they see in their environment or find interesting. Our favorite songs and books include moments of participation. Our new favorite is From Head to Toe by Eric Carle. It brings together our interest in animals and our constant need to move, while building confidence. "I can do it!" can be heard loudly as we kick our legs like a donkey or raise our shoulders like a buffalo.
At other moments during the day the boys are finding more and more ways to do things for themselves. Their ability now matches the things they need to do, so we are practicing how to refine and perfect. This becomes especially true in the bathroom and during our transitions to and from outside. During these times we talk about the specific different parts, drawing attention to where to put hands when pulling down pants. "Look at my hands! Pull on the cuff. Here's the tab on the diaper. You can pull it!" Every day the children are not only becoming more proficient and able, but our practice is giving them the confidence they need and want. It goes directly along with the basic trust that we have been building since they first started. Every new stage gives us a new chance to find ways to build trust. Sometimes it comes to the surface in what I see as testing: they want to make sure I am still there as their bodies and awareness changes.
Basic trust between the boys as peers is also still growing. As we work on our refinement, the boys are testing each other as well, figuring out the social order that naturally evolves in any group of people. Last ThursdayI brought in a ramp which we used to always have to add to their interest in trucks that had taken over the afternoon. I placed it together with some of our larger blocks. It began as a mountain for trains and then became a mountain for climbing. The space was too small, so I helped them enlarge it and then stepped back. This video shows just a snippet of how they work together in a small space. You can see how they figure out a flow to the work they are doing naturally and are able to communicate and navigate between themselves. Because they have been able to build their own basic trust between each other, even in tricky situations they are able to explore freely and with love.