Jul 29, 2016

Wild Rumpus Report: Week 6 (a little late)

Week 6-- in which we finally get some official AnjiPlay materials just in time for a visit from the founder of AnjiPlay herself, Ms. Cheng!

On Monday of this week, I went to the local warehouse where all of the AnjiPlay materials had been delivered for One City Early Learning Center and Kaleem Caire (the founder of One City) and I were giddy with glee as we unpacked the boxes and admired these gorgeous play materials.

One City is the very first school in the US to adopt the AnjiPlay curriculum and they have been generous enough to allow us to borrow a portion of the play materials for the last two weeks of our Wild Rumpus events. We had hoped to be able to each purchase our own set of blocks, ladders and rollers, but they aren't commercially available yet and the production time for this special preview set took a little longer than expected, so this isn't quite one full class set of blocks and that's why we ended up only borrowing them. So grateful for this partnership!

On Tuesday (one of the hottest days of the year so far, of course!), Ms. Cheng and other AnjiPlay staff came out to observe our Wild Rumpus event.  I showed her some of the Play Story notebooks:
 And the kids played with blocks

 here's a video of an interview with the builder in the above photo:

Wild Rumpus Week 6 


Because there aren't very many ladders, I had been hesitant to borrow any of those from One City, but Ms. Cheng insisted  that we borrow a few and in fact brought them out to the park with her. I'm so glad she did!  The play with ladders is absolutely amazing to watch. Here, let me show you what the kids did in their very first day of experimenting with the ladders:
 (moms can make good supports!)
 Ms. Cheng set up two ladders and placed one plank across and the kids did the rest of this.  I had been hesitant to interfere with their play even that much and she pointed out that in Anji, the younger kids are playing with older kids who have experience using the planks like this and can model their use for the younger children.  Lacking peer mentors (and having a very short timeframe for kids to work in, comparatively), she was in favor of sparking inspiration like this rather than waiting for it to (maybe) happen organically.  The kids took her inspiration and ran with it:

 One of the moms who has brought her children nearly every week pointed out that this week, without the paint (One City preferred that their blocks stay paint-free at least for now), it seemed like more children were willing to interact and play with other children they didn't know.  Apparently, paint can really reinforce solitary work habits?
The ladders could also make great houses:

 I loved watching Ms. Cheng and the teacher she'd brought with her from Anji.  They spent almost the entire session taking photos and videos and watching them reminded me that THAT is what the teachers in the Anji schools are doing the whole time.  They're not chatting with other teachers or hoping to sneak in a coffee break, they are actively engaged in observing and recording the children's activities.
Ladders are also great for climbing trees:

The "rollers" were a huge hit too!  They were fun for rolling inside of:
And on the outside of the roller:
 For balancing on top:
 Or rolling a friend:
 Whey they were upright, they were great for hiding inside:

or filling with blocks:

 And then.... DUMPING!

The spools were also still fun. For stacking...
 (not quite tall enough...)
 Build a third tower instead!
 For climbing on top of, using a ladder...

Wild Rumpus Week 6
And this young explorer discovered that his index finger was exactly the right size to stick into the water spigot and stop the water flow!
Here's a great video interview!
Wild Rumpus Week 6

Some of my favorite drawings from this week's Play Stories:

Here's a video discussing this play story:
Wild Rumpus Week 6

Wild Rumpus Week 6

Please note: "Anji Play,” refers to a specific philosophy and comprehensive approach to early education developed by Ms. Cheng Xueqin in Anji County, China. I use the term "Anji Play" to describe my programming and throughout this blog with the explicit permission of Ms. Cheng because our programming has been developed as part of a close collaborative relationship with her and her team of Anji Play educators. If you are interested in learning more about how you can bring Anji Play to your community, please visit www.anjiplay.com

Jul 13, 2016

Wild Rumpus Report: Week 5

Week 5 and things are starting to run a little more smoothly and the kids who have attended for multiple weeks are really digging deeper into play even though nothing radically new was added this week.  Let's see what happened:

One "new" thing that was added was some really large appliance boxes.  They made a great house and adding a second made an excellent addition to the house.
 They were also fun to try to roll in!


more AnjiPlay after the jump!

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