To balance means to have an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady. As a verb, it means to keep or put something in a steady position so that it does not fall. Balancing our bodies and objects can be very tricky, but also very rewarding once mastered; which makes balancing a great area to explore and practice because it has so many developmental levels. This week, we provided the children with different paths and heights to balance their bodies on. Starting off on the floor with tape lines, moving to beams, tires and stumps outside! Some children jumped right up on our balance beams, walking forward, while others shuffled along, asking for a hand to hold on to. Other children tackled these experiences head on and plunged forward in a kind of a hit-and-miss fashion that ended up in tumbles, smiles and lots of laughter.. Whatever level the children were at in their ability to balance, we witnessed persistences and everyone continued to try over and over again.
We also built a tire and stump structure upon which the children could climb over, under through and balance on. They had to use their fingertips to grip the tire treads and use their knees to push themselves up. With a little coaxing, some were able to stand right on top of the biggest tire, hold a steady balancing pose, and raised their hands in the air. “I did it!” they exclaimed with pride.
This week has also been a lot of building trust between children and educators, encouraging and supporting children as they took many risks this week has helped strengthen new found relationships between everyone in the class. By building these trust filled relationships it allows us educators to better support the children as they begin pushing their limits and start taking calculated risks. While pushing their limits and taking risks you see many moments of success as well as moments when a child has realized they met their limit. In these moments that is when the trusting relationships come into play the most. By having a supportive educator offering a helping hand and words of encouragement the children feel safe and supported while pushing their limits and taking risks. We encourage you as parents to take a look, are there more towers being built; not necessarily out of blocks but books, animals, baskets? Has your child been able to stand on one foot while you’ve helped put their shoes on? Or maybe there’s been more jumping off of things in your house. If you’ve noticed these activities or similar, what you are seeing is a first hand experience of what your child has taken home from this week in Quartz.