Tuesday, June 17, 2014

WHY I do what I do.

Sooooo I changed the title of our blog.  I feel like this one is more fitting "Hurricane Houser."  My friend Katie with whom I teach calls me this.  Our life is much like a hurricane - whirlwind of lots of things lots of the time.  I get questions from time to time about how and why I do what I do with our kiddos.  I thought I would dedicate my first post in a year (seriously I about forgot I even had a blog!) to WHY and WHAT FOR of our activities and things with the kids.

The number one reason that I've changed the way I interact with my kids, incorporated hands on, started sensory bins, used messy play or whatever on Earth you want to title it is the TELEVISION.  Seriously that thing is the devil.
 I found us (me and the kids) watching sooooo much TV.  When I wanted to get things done at the house I would turn on a show for the kids, when I wanted them to be quiet and stop being loud, crazy or whatever I would turn on a show.  It works, like a charm.  I felt guilty.  I felt like I was using the TV as a babysitter and I really didn't feel like my kids were learning or being engaged like they should.

The number two reason I've changed things up is that when my kids got their things to play with, or a toy or whatever even playing outside they didn't know HOW to play.  I noticed the kids having TONS of things available and just wondering around not sure of what to do and seeming to be bored all of the time.

It was about this time that I started reading several blogs about sensory play, hands on play, messy play etc.  After reading the theory behind this I decided that maybe my children needed less tv, and more of this type of play.  So I started buying humungo bags of white rice and pasta at the store, making play doh, and collecting different bowls, cups, scoopers etc. at the dollar tree.

I began introducing the kids to rainbow rice.  LET ME BE HONEST ---- the first time we did this the kids had no clue what to do, played for maybe 10 min, didn't seem engaged and really seemed to dislike the activity as a whole.  It was on the yeah I guess this is alright but can we do something else spectrum.  I kept trying despite messes (not just the normal mess but the I am just going to pour this entire thing into the floor and do something else mess), teaching and time.  Though it took a while and several activities, as well as a lot of encouragement to the kids trying to spark their ideas and their minds to change its way of thinking, they now I can say play so much better.

Since introducing these activities I have noticed a few things in the kiddos:
 * they play longer with things
 * they are more creative and inventive in their play
 * they are more entertained and excited by simple play
 * they ask to watch TV significantly less

I feel like the kids play better than ever before, they are imagning and being creative, and thinking of things they can do on their own.  They don't walk around seeming to have no clue what to do all the time anymore.  I know that sometimes being bored is good and part of life but my frustration came that all hours we were home the kids seemed to have nothing to do or not know what to do with the toys they have all the time.

So anyway that's why.

And if you've read the blog before one of my goals for the rest of the year is to post much more frequently about what we do around here.

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