In a truly play-based environment, every single item can be transformed into a hat, a shoe, a wheel or a stool. That is why our spaces often look like junkyards!
Children should feel completely free to engage into play with anything that exists around, no matter what it may be; so they imagine, innovate, combine, cooperate and develop independent thinking, on a free will basis.
Living in a hot Mediterranean city like Athens, snow is a rare thing to see, downtown. But today, it was one of these days!
Being unfamiliar with snowy weather, the Municipality of Athens advised all schools to remain closed. However, a brave play-based school like Dorothy Snot is not afraid of some snow flakes!
The sure thing is our kids loved it. Being able to play with snow in the heart of the city is such an unusual experience down here. Not to mention that most of our 4 and 5 y.o. had not ever seen Athens in white!
Play in life-derived conditions is always the most exciting thing for children. And we are dedicated to keep providing this kind of play!
Toddlers class (2-3 y.o.) is usually the point in time for children to start experimenting physically. They feel strong now and ready to take risks.
Here, risky play gets into the picture. Of course, we do not encourage children in school to jump out of the windows! But, on the other hand, we do not either overprotect them when seem ready and confident to take the extra mile…
Watch Dimitris in the following video, to consciously explore how it feels to fell!
(video by Jenny Diamantopoulou, teacher in toddlers’ class in Athens)
“Let’s play basketball” someone said… And so, kindergarten kids just constructed a pop up basket from used tires!
They arranged by themselves a shooting order and patiently waited for their turn. They were little puzzled about how to get the ball out of this basket and needed to come up with some original solutions.
Through this spontaneous yard play, kindergarten children accomplished a bunch of educational milestones by themselves, just being based on pleasure and joy! Priceless….
We spent the whole week preparing our fairy tea party which took place on Thursday and Friday in the woods. After reading in school the legend of the rainbow fairies, we decided to help these little fairies make a rainbow.
In school, we put on the wings we made out of hangers and rope and practiced how to use the fairy dust and learnt a few spells! We mixed paints, just to find out that we only need three colors to make so many more.
We even tried to make our colors shine by sprinkling some fairy dust on them.
The result was to make everything around us shine bright, including ourselves!
On Thursday and Friday, we had a wonderful day in the woods!
We looked around for some fairy signs and while looking we found some acorns instead and a little tortoise wandering around.
We built our fairy welcome houses in the trees and decorated them the way we wanted.
Then, we went hunting for colors.
And used what we found to make a rainbow.
And after all this hard work, we set the table and had a cup of tea and biscuits!
(by Claire Hadjinikolaou, English teacher in Dorothy Snot, Athens)