Jul 10, 2017

Wild Rumpus, week 2: In which the forecast is .... somewhat misleading. Or is it?

The forecast this morning said 70-80% chance of thunderstorms all afternoon and evening and I was so relieved to have such a clear-cut choice!  I noted on the library's online calendar that we'd be meeting at our rain location and put up signs in the park to reflect that location choice as well.  Then, 4:00 rolled around and the sky looked like this (see above). Sigh.

Nevertheless, we had a chance to try out our indoor space -- the gym at the nearby Lussier Community Center where we'll also be hosting our fall indoor AnjiPlayDate programs -- and we learned that there's actually very easy access to an amazing large lawn space, so, weather permitting, we can always spill outside if we need to!  Hooray!

The crowds were smaller today, but we saw a number of new families, so that was great!  Here's some pictures from the play:

Love this elaborate structure!

These tubes and sheets were the basis of the coziest most comfy hideout ever, apparently.  This little one stayed inside this structure for at least 10-15 minutes, usually with the sheet completely covering her head.  

This little guy found lots of fun things to do with the tubes -- drumming on them... 

using them to break his fall.....

and peeking through to say hello to Jane!

This tiny fort has some impressive engineering going on with long blocks balanced on their smallest ends:

we were informed that the stack of white tubes on the top was the "smokestack" -- not the chimney, a smokestack. What an excellent and rare piece of vocabulary!  

These girls started off with just pushing each other on the giant spools,  

but they later upgraded by adding a rope to pull instead.  They tried a few different ways of attaching the rope:
1. to the spool.

2. to the rider.

We also did some play outdoors since the weather was still nice for the first 2/3rds of our time there:
To help bring these innertubes in quickly in case of inclement weather, Jane had loosely strung them, like beads on a necklace, on a piece of purple tulle.  When this kiddo found that, she knew just what to do!  She pulled them around the yard for quite some time!

The yard just outside of the Lussier Center gym has a lovely sloping grassy ditch that is just perfect for rolling things.

One very observant 8 year old looked at the materials we'd brought outside and asked, "Why is everything round?" I looked around and realized that he was absolutely right!  Everything we'd brought outside WAS round!  I asked him why he thought everything was round and he chose to ponder his response in silence.  Perhaps he thought my question was rhetorical?

The hill provided some excellent opportunities for "heavy work" such as pushing these wooden spools up the slope:

and then letting it roll quite satisfyingly back down the hill again!


Here's a little peek at our current poll-taking system.  Each day, when people arrive at the Wild Rumpus, everyone gets a painted clothespin.  They are asked to pin it somewhere conspicuous so that they'll remember at the END of the program, to take it off and drop it in a box marked "yes" or the box marked "no" to answer the question of the week.  Kids also get a question and two yes/no boxes to drop their clothespins into.  This is not only a quick and painless way to get some feedback about the program's outcomes, it's also is a great way to tally attendance each week!

 By the end of this week's program, the sky had turned to this (with an accompanying tornado watch) and buckets of rain fell, so I felt much better about the decision to go inside despite the fact that our attendance numbers were so low.  We did see some new faces as people discovered us as they stopped in at the Lussier Commuity Center.

Let's hope next week has better weather!

Here's the East Side Rumpus Report for week 2. 

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

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