Teachers in JK105 immediately noticed the students' interest in babies. Their play often involved families and deciding who wanted to be the baby. Within a couple of weeks, this play was brought outdoors as we noticed the balls we used on the field were being used as their babies. From there, students decided to delve into learning more about babies to enhance their imaginative play. The class discussed what they already knew about babies, which was quite a bit. They mentioned how babies wear diapers, they can't talk, they drink milk and some even knew that they have soft heads and are very delicate. JK105 looks forward to learning more about why the baby's head is soft, how much babies sleep, how to take care of a baby and what kind of toys babies like. During one of our discussions about babies, they began discussing what each child can do now that they could not do when they were a baby.
Ruthie said, "when I was a baby, I couldn't dress myself, but now I can." Jack stated, "when I was a baby, I could not turn the pages of the book, but now I can" and finally, Ari said, "when I was a baby, I could not ride a scooter, but now I can!"
Playing "baby and family" solidifies social skills that are gained in a child’s early developmental years. When children play house, they learn to cooperate and communicate with each other in a kind way. By taking care of a doll, they learn how to take care of each other. Another important social skill that children learn when playing with dolls is how to process emotions such as empathy and compassion. Just like caring for their doll teaches responsibility, it teaches them to empathize with those around them and allows them to grow up into caring people.
We have loved watching our class care for the babies and look forward to continuing to see where this study takes us!