The four year old group has been horsin' around for over a week now! We were all outside playing when I noticed a few galloping around on sticks yelling "giddy up!"I watched them for quite a while making the sound effects, skipping all around, and even stopping to let their horses take a water break. The next thing I notice was a child stopped at a hay pile with the stick in it. "Hey look! My horse is eating hay!!" she said.
When the other children noticed her doing it they all ran over and let their horses have a bite to eat.
The next day the horse play continued right when we went outside. The children decided we needed to make a barn for the horses to live, so we went straight to work!
We grabbed a bunch of supplies from the woods and under the shed. They helped each other carry the really heavy pieces and brainstormed where each piece should be placed. There were a few debates as to where the door should go, but they worked it out fairly quickly. Someone spotted the bricks from inside the shed and decided they were a MUST. (I had to agree!) I told them they could use the bricks, however they needed to carry them over. One by one the children grabbed a brick, carried it over to the construction site, and carefully placed it where they thought it should go. When they were happy with their finished product they brought the horses over to show them around. Once they brought over buckets of hay, grass, and water the horses approved of their new living quarters!
The following morning I thought I would set out a little table with horses before everyone arrived. I didn't have much time, but thought simple was best and they could extend on it later.
The children played with it for most of the morning, but just as I suspected someone said, "We need a barn for the horses to sleep!"
We began digging through our recycling bin to find cardboard to build the actual barn, and used scissors, glue, markers, and paper to decorate it "just right". Watching them work so diligently on the barn inspired us to take our horses from outside and jazz them up. The children told me what they needed to make a horse. "We're going to need ears, hair on the neck, and a tail." I got cardboard, yarn and scissors and brought it outside. The children cut pieces of yarn off and tied the strands onto the tail and they hot glued the ears on.
I showed a few of the children how to tie knots and once they got it down I was chop liver. They finished up the horses and off they went riding around the play ground. After running around for a while they would take a break at the barn, feed the horses, get a drink, and off they would go.
The horse play is still going on and we have gotten into pretty big discussions about horses. The children told me horses eat hay, grass, apples, and carrots, and that "they definitely don't live in Montreal, because it's too cold." (ha!) Next week I have a really big surprise for the group and I can't wait to do the next blog post about it!!
- Leslie Dionne