Just Playing

When I'm building in the block area,
Please don't say Im "just playing."
For you see, I'm learning as I play,
About balances and shapes.
Who knows, I may be an architect someday.

When I'm getting all dressed up,
Setting the table, caring for the babies,
Don't get the idea I'm "just playing."
For you see, I'm learning as I play;
I may be a mother or father someday.

When you see me up to my elbows in paint
Or standing at an easel,
Or molding and shaping clay,
Please don't let me hear you say, "He is just playing."
For you see, I'm learning as I play.
I'm expressing myself and being creative.
I may be an artist or an inventor someday.

When you see me sitting in a chair
"Reading" to an imaginary audience,
Please don't laugh and think I'm "just playing."
For you see, I'm learning as I play.
I may be a teacher someday.

When you see me combing the bushes for bugs,
Or packing my pockets with choice things I find.
Don't pass it off as "just play."
For you see, I'm learning as I play.
I may be a scientist someday.

When you see me engrossed in a puzzle
Or some "plaything" at my school,
Please don't feel the time is wasted in "play."
For you see, I'm learning as I play.
I'm learning to solve problems and concentrate.
I may be in business someday.

When you see me cooking or tasting foods,
Please don't think that because I enjoy it
It is "just play."
I'm learning to follow direction and see differences.
I may be a cook someday.

When you see me learning to skip, hop,
Run and move my body,
Please don't say I'm "just playing."
For you see, I'm learning as I play.
I'm learnng how my body works.
I may be a doctor, nurse or athlete someday.

When you ask me what I've done at school today,
And I say, "I just played",
Please don't misunderstand me.
For you see, I'm learning as I play.
I'm learning to enjoy and be successful in my work.
I'm preparing for tomorrow.
Today, I am a child and my work is play.

-- Anita Wadley

There's Nothing in My Bag Today

Today I did my math and science,
I toasted bread.
I halved and quartered.
I counted, measured, used my eyes and ears and head.
I added and subtracted on the way.
I used a magnet, blocks and memory tray.
I learned about a rainbow and how to weight.
So pelase don't say, "Anything in your bag today?"
You see I'm sharing as I play
I learned to listen and speak clearly when I talk,
To wait my turn, and when inside to walk.
To put my thoughts into a phrase.
To guide a crayon through a maze.
To find my name and write it down.
To do it with a smile and not a frown.
To put my pasting brush away.
So please don't say, "What, nothing in your bag today?"
I've learned about a snail and a worm,
Remembering how to take my turn.
Helped a friend when he was stuck,
Learned that water runs off a duck.
I looked at workds from left to right,
Agreed to differ, not to fight.
So please don't say,
"Did you only play today?"


When Your Child Comes Home Messy 

Red paint in the hair? Blue paint on the jeans?
Sand in the shoes? Marker on a favorite shirt?
White socks that look brown? Sleeves a bit damp?


worked with a friend
solved a problem
created a masterpiece
negotiated a difference
learned a new skill
had a great time
developed new language skills


feel lonely
become bored
do repetitive tasks that are too babyish
do worksheets that are too easy
do sit down work that is discouraging


paid good money for those chothes
will have trouble getting the red paint out
are concerned the teacher isn't paying
enough attention to your child


was aware of your child's special needs and interests
spent time planning a challenging activity for the children
encouraged the children to try new things
was worried you might be concerned

Young children really learn when they are actively involved in play...
not when someone is talking to them.
There is a difference between "messy" and "lack of care."
Your teacher made sure your child was fed, warm,
offered new skills and planned messy fun
things to do because that's how young children learn!

Send your child in clothes that can get dirty!
Keep extra old clothes at the site for times
when the child gets really messy. But
remember, young children need time to be kids.
-- author unknown