The Nursery classrooms have had an increase in dramatic/imaginative play as well as rough and tumble play in both indoor (for restaurant/store/airplane play) and outdoor (for school/family) setting. This is all super healthy and developmentally appropriate! We are excited about this development as it shows their growth and deeper connections with one another and as a group, as well as their cognitive leaps. Furthermore, it gives lots of opportunities to practice conflict resolution. The students have been loving the imaginative play so much and honing their leadership skills in the creative playscapes and adventures they are undertaking.
As with any new or progressing type of play, they are also needing help scaffolding and modeling the rules and boundaries around the play. This includes helping the students set ground rules, such as reminding them that stop means stop, we use kind bodies and kind words, all kiddos must consent to the rules of the play, we pause to clarify when there is a disagreement and we come to a teacher for help. During these moments, boundaries can be crossed and big emotions can arise. As teachers, we also believe it is important to be present in order to support everyone when conflict arises and use these moments as learning opportunities.
This type of change in play is a great time to practice scenarios that include moments of conflict with the students. Since they love dramatic play, we’ve been practicing role playing with them on what to do if something like this happens, as well as encouraging students to use their strong words with friends. Additionally, we encourage students to ask a teacher for help if they’ve used their words already to help moderate the situation.
If you notice this type of play with your child, be encouraged to let it unfold, be a witness and be patient. The skills they develop now will continue to serve them now and for the rest of their BZ career and beyond.