Here is another game we play at Moondew.
We use two of these little fleece birds. (Tomorrow, I will post how to make these)
They hang on a string, which is attached to a wooden rod or skewer stick (with pointy bit cut off)
I hold one, and give one to one of the children. This child follows my lead.
We walk around singing, and then the little bird ‘lands’ on the child’s head. This is the signal that it is time for that child to go off to wash their hands for morning tea.
The song goes:
“When woods awake and trees are green, and leaves are large and long
Tis merry to walk in the forest fair, and hear the little birds song. Tweet. Tweet”
(The birds land on ‘tweet tweet’)
This is another of those random verses with no author’s name attached. If you know, please let me know so I can credit the verse for them.
Transistion games like this give structure and clarity to the group, and are especially helpful for the very young ones. I repeat all my games for a two week cycle. Two weeks is really two mornings and is not really enough but I have to find a balance between predictability for the children and a fresh approach for the parents. In a playgroup, there really are two groups to consider. The child is all important of course but the parent equally so, as it is the parent who will create the home rhythms that will support the child for the rest of the time. They need nourishment and inspiration and guidance. Change in the content helps us all to see that there is not one way of telling a story, or singing a song, or making a craft, or baking bread. There are many ways and many individuals with ideas.
In my kindergarten classroom (of 5-6 year olds) I told stories for a week (5 days), morning circles for 3 weeks (with some new content/challenge added every week) and transition games for two weeks. Other teachers I know might cycle things for 3 weeks, others for 4. It is an individual decision arising out of the teachers observations and understanding of the children in their group.
Playgroup’s biggest challenge is that we only meet once a week. I like to keep it fresh and keep parents inspired with a glut of creative opportunity- new stories, games, crafts, thoughts….
This works well at Moondew now but I’m always open to change.