If there is one thing that I’ve learned from working at a daycare- which, by the way, there’s not; there are about a million things!! But anyway, IF there were only one thing, it would be this: children love to show off their skills! And it is very interesting to me to see what children classify as “skills”. Apparently jumping, somersaults, and drawing scribbles on paper are on the list. 😉 Anyway, below are a few classic examples of the recent “skills” that my daycare kiddos have picked up:
- One girl in our class has just learned how to snap her fingers. Sometime recently, to prove her newly acquired talent, she stood up in the middle of circle time, snapped her fingers at me (with a huge grin on her face, of course), and then sat back down to resume listening. At other random moments of the day, she will run up to me and snap those tiny fingers of hers, as if to remind me lest I forget!
- And then there’s the boy who is learning how to tie his shoes. Currently, he is at the stage where most of his attempts turn into knots that I have to undo for him (so he can make more knots, er, practice, I mean). I actually am quite proud of him. He is persistent, and there have been a number of times where he has been able to do it (I think)! I swear, whenever I look over at him, he is bent over his shoes on the floor, diligently working on tying them! I am beginning to wonder if he doesn’t purposely untie them sometimes, just so he can get some extra practice in. 🙂
- The “skill” that I probably see the most of these days, and the one that the kids get most excited about showing off (probably because they can all do it, and they all just do it so well), is what I call the “preschooler’s handstand”. A little boy or girl will excitedly shout, “Miss Deborah! Look what I can do!” and then proceed to bend over at the waist, hands -and even their head sometimes- on the floor, while lifting one leg in the air. It’s a glorious feat of many of the children (at least they think so, because they show me about 20 times a day!), and it is always amusing for me to watch. Every time.
- Well, I can’t write a post about preschooler’s talents without including the jump. That’s all it is, jumping in the air. More like hopping, really, because they can’t seem to get much of their tiny little bodies off the ground. But it’s really adorable! One girl seems to think it is proof that she is getting bigger, because every day she shows me how high she can jump and then says, “See, Miss Deborah? I’m so big.” 🙂 This is another one that I see many, many times throughout the day.
Ah, I love seeing this stage in life, and sharing in the joy of life’s simple pleasures. It’s the time where learning to write your name and eating with your spoon instead of your hands is just about as thrilling as it gets (for a four year old, anyway), and it’s so rewarding as a teacher to see their eyes light up once they acquire a new skill, or tidbit of knowledge. Sometimes, I wish they wouldn’t learn things so fast, because it means they are growing up and will be in kindergarten soon….and I won’t be going with them, like I wish I could. Buuut then I remember that changing and growing and learning are things to rejoice over, so I gulp down the urge to cry (oh man, I’m gonna be one of those moms- the weepy kind) and cheer on little Johnny boy as he performs his little handstand skill. And undo the knot in what’s-his-name’s shoes so he can get a little more practice!
Soooo, if you have kids of your own, don’t forget to ask them what they’re learning. And be glad to help out when they’re struggling with writing that letter or tying that shoe, because someday they won’t need to ask anymore…and that day will come sooner than you think!