We have all heard children imitating us (and usually saying the things that make us cringe!)
Here is a lovely example of children internalising a shared learning experience and re-enacting it independently.
The children had been supported to build a fire as a group, a campfire around which to enjoy marshmallows (which some of our children had been to the local shops to buy).
They sang together, enjoying the sensory experience (with smoke in their eyes as well!) They waited their turn and came forward with sticks to toast their marshmallows.
The following day a group had set up their own imaginary campfire at the fire pit. They had selected sticks and put berries on the end as their 'marshmallows'. This play lasted for some time.
It is wonderful when children respond to an experience in this way: the children were actively experimenting with the social and emotional roles of life. Through cooperative play they learn how to take turns, share responsibility and creatively problem-solve.
As practitioners we need to ensure we model this for children and also allow them extended periods and suitable spaces and resources (sometimes Mother Nature is enough) to explore and experiment.
Rachel Keeling Nursery School
Bullard's Place, Morpeth Street, London, E2 0PS
Tel: 020 89805856
RACHEL KEELING IS PART OF THE RACHEL KEELING AND CHILDREN'S HOUSE NURSERY FEDERATION