We have a climber! I'm sure you know what I mean, a child who has determined that everything.... tables, shelves, you name it... is meant to be scaled...... So, what is a provider to do?
Well, some people might say "no climbing" but not here.....
Rather than saying no to a perfectly developmentally appropriate behavior, we rearranged the environment and added a slide for safe climbing. By giving children a safe way to explore their body development, we are encouraging them to grow, learn, and explore through their interests!
And, if you are going to have an indoor slide... you might as well have an indoor ball pit too!
A swimming pool makes a great ball pit (and group sled too!). But, sometimes you need something bigger than a plastic pool.... So, we used our giant waffle blocks:
The blocks made a great barrier to keep the balls from rolling all over our floor.
Although, some of our friends had a lot of fun tossing the balls out over the sides.....
Some of our friends spent their time climbing up the slide. Did you know that allowing children to climb up the slide instead of just going down promotes a wide array of skills? They are able to develop upper body strength. They are also often forced to negotiate socially for a turn, using their verbal skills and risk assessment. Slides are GREAT for going up!
Having a ball pit also lent itself to a wide array of learning exploration. Some children found our soft foam blocks and decided to fill them with balls of corresponding colors. They decided to count how many they could fit in each upside down block = Teamwork and lots of communication.
And some people think all we do all day is "play" -- Phhhhhhbbbbbbbt!
Never underestimate the value of exploration and play for children!