In recent weeks, our friends have been able to go outside more and more often in the buggy, due to the very pleasant weather we’ve been enjoying. One unexpected benefit of this weather has been the discovery of the ducks! At first only occasionally noticed as we passed by, the children have been increasingly aware of them as we venture out on our adventures. August especially laughs and points as he sees them in the water or occasionally waddling on the boardwalk; Scotlyn proudly counts them as we pass them feeding in the shallow water near the casino. On the playground, Nate flapped his arms while speeding around; Eloise smiled, quacking and laughing as he flew. As we marched through the pedways singing “5 Little Ducks,” Nate and Wren joined in the quacking, too!
Over this time, the children are being given opportunity to make their own discoveries about the animals around them. Through play and interaction, the children are able to learn in a social manner and support each other’s development.
“Countless studies have pointed out that good quality, creative, imaginative, discovery-based, spontaneous, child-directed, socially mediated play provides the essential grounding for later academic success. For children to be ready for school they need play. For children to succeed throughout school they need to play in the years before and during school.” Martin and Huggins, YMCA Playing to Learn, page 62
by Mike Allen