Friday, July 30, 2010

Jumping Off Each Other's Ideas

I put out some airplanes with the wooden blocks. "I" and "J2" were ready to jump into this activity. They immediately built an airport, a long rectangular structure with lots of open space in the middle for taking off and landing. The airport also had a handy gate that opened on the side. Planes could land in the field beside the airport and taxi into the airport.

"J2" had a plane that kept having trouble landing. In fact, it endured several spectacular crashes and would limp into the airport for repairs. After a couple of crash incidents, "I" decided that the airport needed a repair shop. So he created a circular area at the back of the airport. "J2" would take his plane to the repair area for a while and then would take to the skies again. Soon the plane could land with a few bumps, but no more crashes.

Here's the completed airport in action.

This is a good shot of the repair area.
See the wedges on this end? That's to help take-off.
You can see the gates in this one.

I was intrigued by this interplay. Together the boys decided to create an airport. One boy peppered his play with crashes. The other boy took that idea and jumped to the need for a repair area. The first boy began using the new area as part of his play. They did not discuss what should happen or how to expand their own play. They just listened to the other's ideas and adapted their own play to accommodate or fit the evolving ideas.

Preschool teachers seem to be the same. Someone posts an idea on a blog; another tries it and builds on it; someone else expands it; another takes it in a whole new direction. And together we all benefit. So many parts of the adult world compete and defend when it comes to ideas. I'm glad I can be a part of a community who shares willingly, helps unselfishly, and celebrates together. Thanks for the gifts you share with me each week.