Teachers at ACG Strathallan preschool had grand plans to transform a muddy outside garden at their centre into something beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. But their plans were quickly foiled.
“The children insisted they just wanted to play with the mud,” said preschool manager Rosie Wells. “So for the last few months the garden has stayed as a mud pit. Not a day goes by when the children aren’t playing in their mud kitchen, making mud pies, mud soup and magic mud potions, and experimenting with the feel of the mud on their bodies.”
She admits it took a while to let go of their plans (and get used to all the dirty clothes) but the benefits to the children were clear – from creative thinking and imagination to using rich new vocabulary and delving into the world of pretend play.
And teachers and parents soon came to realise the value of letting the kids… be kids.
“As teachers we now know and see daily the magic that happens when all guards are let down children are put at the heart of the matter. The children have reminded us about the magic of teaching and we thank them for this,” she said.
*ACG Strathallan preschool’s mud pit venture won Swings and Roundabouts’ Magic of Teaching competition.