Stomping in the Mud Play Group is a rich, natural outdoor play environment where children have the opportunity to play outside,
rain or shine ... a chance for preschoolers to 'live in the moment' while learning through play.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Spider in the Shadow!

At Stomping pretty much everything that we put out for the children is considered a 'loose part'. This means the children have the opportunity to use our things in as many different and creative ways as they can think of. Recently we set out a playscape with spring loaded tongs. The tongs are wonderful for small muscle development, and they are always very appealing to the children. 

We have two sets of tongs - one wooden and the other metal. The children were having a wonderful time experimenting with the sizes and weights of things the tongs could pick up. 

The boy with the metal tongs overheard that there was a spider running along the near by table. As he approached...still holding his treasured tongs...he noticed that the tongs were casting a shadow over the spider!

Soon he was 'grabbing' the spider with the shadow of the tongs. Opening and closing as the spider ran down the length of the table.

This is one of those 'Wow' moments in the field of  Early Childhood Education that could never have been planned.  The children were mostly quiet - they were observing and processing the moment. The lesson was powerfully obvious as our friend followed the spider along the table with the shadow of the tongs. 

Later, when Dianne and I were reflecting on the experience we felt great satisfaction in knowing that by our giving preschoolers lots of freedom to play and experiment with all that we offer we are supporting their individual learning styles and development in a powerful way. 
It was learning in the 'moment' at its best. Thanks for 'Stomping' by!


  1. Yes.... Gaie and Dianne - it's so great for the children (and you for that matter) to reap benefits of the children's observation and exploration. Each child has the opportunities at STOMPING to freely discover and experiment and I check in regulary with your blog and it makes me yearn to have my very very early years BACK !!!
    Lucky Stomplin in the Mud children and parents!!

  2. What the two of you do is amazing. We feel very fortunate to have the boys a part of it. I'm in awe at what the children figure out on their own when left to just explore and experiment, especially outside, we definitely don't give them enough credit most of time. I actually miss seeing all of it firsthand!!!

  3. Thank you Suzi for your comment and thanks for checking in regulary,,,,,, stay tuned, more fun to come

  4. Thanks so much Brianna........ we are so glad your boys are part of Stomping, more adventures to come.....

  5. What an a mazing moment for all concerned & it's lovely that the children have this opportunities to explore in their own time with no rush. I just love following all that you do, Kierna

    1. Thanks so much Kierna. It was an amazing momment and so excited to share it! Also, it was very rewarding to hear from the little boys Mom how much he enjoyed talking about the what happened with the spider and his shadow after seeing the blog. Thanks for taking the time to connect with us - we really appreciate it! Gaie and Dianne

  6. What a beautiful moment to relish in and remember!! I love that the casting of the shadow over the spider was the main interest and that nobody yearned to capture the spider with the tongs. It is proof that when children are in a child-centered learning environment that exposes them to the natural world they develop kindness and caring of their natural environment. So beautiful!!! Thank you for sharing, Angela.

  7. Thanks Angela. I really enjoy following your blog as well.