Monday, February 14, 2011

What do you love?

Another wonderful day with two year olds - and Valentine's Day, to boot! So, I did all my "requireds" - created special "love" cards for their parents, made from their handprints and a sweet poem; let them explore creating their own pictures, using fingerpaints, cut out hearts, and any other materials of their choosing. They enjoyed this work very much.

But then, I got a little cocky. I attempted to have them share at circle time. In the interest of full disclosure, may I remind everyone that I have taught 3s and 4s for years? Two year olds are completely different beings....

I introduced a small heart container - letting them hold it, one at a time, and then, while holding it, I encouraged them to announce "what they love." Instead, these sweet twos were fascinated that the heart container opened up - what might be inside it? So, thinking it might help them focus - here's where I took leave of my senses! - I put some Cheerios in it and said

"Watch this - Ms. Maureen will announce what she loves, and then she will open the container and take a Cheerio."

Then I role-played it, saying, "Ms. Maureen loves playing with you at school" and I ate a Cheerio. Well, these little friends were so very, very excited by this! I had them close their eyes and I stuck the container in one child's hand and said, "Surprise! You have the heart, tell us what you love!" and one by one, over and over, they announced -

"I love Cheerios!"

This was hysterical. The other teacher and I could not stop laughing.

Here's evidence that I have forgotten lots that I know about two year olds developmentally: they are literal; they cannot think in abstract terms. They could not think past what was in the container.

Great chuckle of the day! Cheerios! Cheerios! Cheerios!

And I have learned again! Still loving my twos....

Happy Valentine's Day!! Here's the sweet little handprint poem:

Ten tiny fingers,
that always want to play,

That never stop exploring
the wonder of today,

Ten tiny fingers,
that from the very start,

Reach out for tomorrow
yet always hold your heart.

- Author unknown

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