Thanks to all for a wonderful FUMP Anniversary Celebration! We had a lovely turnout and it was fantastic to see old friends. Thanks to all who attended. It is so heartwarming to see the impact that our fantastic teaching staff has had on the lives of children and their families.
We also enjoyed a presentation from the Austin Science and Nature Center on Friday. The theme was “Meet the Animals,” complete with birds, turtles and more!
This week, the oldest classes will enjoy Chapel with Ms. Lara.
Reminder, FUMP will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday, November 25-29. We are most thankful for the time that we spend with your children. Thank you for sharing your greatest blessings with us.
Teacher Column: Ms. Janis. “Not now, I’m playing.”
In the preschool world, “routine” is the order of events—hopefully predictable and fairly stable from day to day—and isn’t related to clock hours. This year at FUMP we are lucky to have an even more than usually flexible day when it comes to playground and outside times. My set lower playground time is 9:30-10:30, which is close to drop-off time. Having a full hour at our disposal means children just getting fully absorbed in their block structures or artistic endeavors or their dramatic play storyline are free to continue uninterrupted without missing any significant outdoor play. And of course we always have the Capitol on good-weather days, which gives us even more freedom.
Play is critical to development in many aspects of a child’s development. Some are self-evident: playing in a group helps children learn cooperation, impulse control, delayed gratification (taking turns); gross motor play fosters muscle strength, agility and coordination. Sensory play is math and science in disguise: discovering how different materials behave, respond to touch and manipulation, how they are measured, and how that compares to previously acquired knowledge.
Play is also important in encouraging a child’s creativity. Julia Cameron, author The Artist’s Way for Parents: Raising Creative Children, believes in allowing children time “when they are free to play according to their own delights.” Ronald Beghetto (University of Connecticut) thinks education should leave room for “student-led discovery”—aka, play.
Audrey Rowland defines play as “the child’s choice for as long as the child chooses to do it.” Children as young as 18 months can play for 90 minutes at a stretch before yielding to a self-imposed break—e.g., “I need a snack!”—and then go on to play for another hour and a half. Interrupting that cycle is sort of like stopping an artist in the middle of a self-portrait to make him change paintbrushes.