My second episode of the podcast is up! It's an interview with the makers of the apps about the little sailor named Fiete. You can read more about the episode here or just listen to the recording right away at www.appfairy.org. The website now also has links to the App Fairy on iTunes, Stitcher and TuneIn in case you prefer to listen to podcasts on your phone. Don't miss the exciting episode extras!
When we give kids the freedom of self-directed play,
there's a good chance some conflict will crop up at some point. One of the major questions that frequently
comes up around Anji Play programs is, “What if the kids are fighting?”Let’s break that down a little.
the kids really fighting or are they just having hard time solving a problem?
At this age, most likely kids aren’t going to
get into an out-an-out brawl with punching, kicking or tackling each
other.If that happens, the kids are in
danger of physical harm and YES, an adult should stop that behavior to keep the
kids both safe.If, on the other hand,
their fight consists of crying, whining, shouting, tugging on a toy neither
wants to give up, or other behavior that’s not physically harmful, adults are
encouraged to allow the kids to work it out between themselves.Here’s a real-life example from Anji County in China: two girls were
arguing over a plank on the playground.Neither was willing to give it up and they held onto that plank
stubbornly for 20 minutes until finally, another girl ran up and said, “Hey,
playtime is over in five minutes!” and both girls dropped the plank and ran off
to play something else for the last five minutes.It might have been uncomfortable for adults
to watch the girls struggle that long, it was probably uncomfortable for the
girls themselves too (no one really likes to get stuck in a power struggle!),
but no one was physically hurt and the only people negatively affected by the
incident were the two girls who lost out on the chance to have more time to
play that day because they were fighting (not because an adult gave them “time-out” or
anything—just because they chose to dig in their heels instead of figuring out
a way to share the plank on their own.)
How many more times do you think they got into a fight like that?How likely is it that they realized that day
what a waste of time it is to get stuck in a power struggle?
kids really just want to get back to playing asap
When kids have disagreements with each
other during play, they don’t really want to stop to have to talk to a grown-up
about proper conflict resolution techniques or considering the other child’s
emotions—they want to get back to play!This means that if you leave the kids to work out their own
disagreements, they might be actually able to do it faster if adults don’t step
in.They might not work it out the same
way you would, but they’ll work it out in the name of getting back to the game.
I'll do a follow-up post to this soon, approaching this question from the adult point of view, but I'd love to hear your responses to this issue. What questions or concerns do you have? If you've participated in an Anji Play program at my library, have you seen examples of this there and what were your thoughts about it? This conversation is an important part of Anji Play -- adults processing what it is that we observe during play time, so... let's talk!
Whew! Sixty people showed up today and of course it was the first time that I introduced some new pop-up tunnels that take up a lot of floor space so it felt a bit.... crowded. Here's a quick peek to give you a feel for the room:
But despite the extra chaos, the kids still found a way to play. Here's a few shots of the new tunnels:
Love that someone figured out how to keep a curve in the tunnel!
There was also plenty of clay play:
Um, maybe pretend eating instead? :)
Even some play on the clay table without using clay! I love watching this little one fill and empty this tube:
The cardboard box drew a lot of attention again. This time with the addition of a bungee cord:
Bungee cords were also used as belts:
And that belt was used for hauling a spool across the floor (hard to see in this photo, but there's a blue rope connecting the spool to his "belt.")
I caught this great balancing act:
Check out this awesome inter-age play!
Here's an interesting interaction. As an adult watching, don't you want to say something to the girl who knocks down the blocks? But check out what happens when no adults step in to problem solve for the kids, but instead let them handle it on their own:
Here are some play stories from today. Can you spot any connections to the photos and videos above?