Sunday, July 21, 2013

Penguin Babies

I was teaching my boys about penguins as we worked our way through a series of "P" words.  I had made little bean bags out of old socks and dried kidney beans and gave one to each of them.  "This is your penguin egg and you are the daddy penguins.  Did you know that penguin daddy's take care of the eggs and the babies?" I asked.  "How do they take care of the babies?" my oldest asked.  "Well, they have to keep the egg under their fur so that the babies inside the egg stay nice and warm.  Can you rest your egg on your feet and try to walk around without dropping your egg?"  I asked them.

They each took a turn trying to shuffle like a penguin with the bean bags balanced on their feet.  After realizing the difficulty of this task, the games began.  

My little one picked up the bean bag and launched it at the sliding glass door.  The glass reverberated from the hit and my oldest decided to see if he could make an even louder sound.  Through their peals of laughter, I tried to bring them back penguin/egg idea.  "Hey guys - How are those eggs after that ordeal?" I asked them.  This apparently made it even funnier.  "That egg is a goner!  It's splattered all over the door!"  My oldest yelled.

I imagine if I had played this game with a little girl, the penguin baby would have hatched into a waiting nursery stocked with bottles, a rocking chair and even a snuggly baby blanket.  While my boys did understand the lesson (I heard my oldest later relaying the info to my husband), they have a different way.  It wasn't really an egg - It was a bean bag that could be used for basketball, target practice and juggling.  It was something made for action.

I'm forever surprised by their enthusiasm for activity.  I'm encouraged to think through my lessons to make sure they are moving much of the time.  And I'm also always trying to be okay with the twists and turns that they take the day.  Sometimes I find myself leaning back watching them turning "eggs" into missiles and I'm annoyed.  I want them to to stick to my agenda.  But isn't my agenda to teach?  Once they learn, shouldn't they be free to reinvent the activity?  I think so.  As long as their is learning, creativity will always be present.  At least that's what I'll keep saying to myself.

How do you challenge yourself to be flexible with their creativity?

1 comment:

  1. What a fun idea! I have a hard time with when my kids decide to not follow my plans either, but then I realize that some of the best lessons that they learn are from unstructured learning/play. Great post :)

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