Managing and teaching in a shelter child center

Posts tagged ‘outdoors’

Grass-An infant’s experience

Okay. Sometimes it really is the simple things that can be the most interesting.sometimes when we go on our picnic days a lot of bigger school kids had the same idea. So I have to keep the infants and younger toddlers on the grass so they won’t get trampled by the older kids. dogs, however, well…. that’s a whole other blog!

Anyway, I’ve written before about the varies ways infants handle their first  (or at least first for a while) grass experiences. Some love it, some hate it, some don’t give it a second thought, and some consider it part of their lunch. But today I’m going to talk about just one child and her grass experience.

Karla(name changed to protect the innocent) has never come out with us before. She is one of the children I worry about. So limp and floppy and unengaged with everything. One of those children that has no light in their eyes at all, and I wonder what horror she might be seeing instead of what is really in front of her. She had to come with usthat day, because the only other care giver she reacts to at all was out sick.

I sat with her flopped in my lap while we watched other kids playing with toys on the blanket we had brought. I saw that she was really watching too. and she was tracking the two other children her age who were rolling balls on the grass. So I got an idea. Maybe she would connect with the grass. I picked a couple of blades and held them for her to look at, explaining grass as best I could. (With infants, you learn to describe all kinds of things you take for granted) I brushed it lightly in her hand,expecting her to scream. She didn’t. She reached for it.

So then I took off her socks and let her brush her feet against it. Not pushing down,or forcing her to stand on it. She put one foot down, pulled it up, looked at me,and did the same thing again. Over and over. If we were having a conversation, it may have been something like this: Karla”I don’t know about this.”

Me”It’s okay. go ahead”

Karla(pulling toes back in)”nope”

Me” go ahead.”

Karla “are you sure about this?”

I think she wanted to make sure that I was there. That I didn’t mind it and that I wasn’t going to let anything happen to her if she changed her mind and wanted off. Eventually she did put both feet down for about three seconds. And she smiled for the first time that I’ve seen in the three months we’ve worked together.

  • Picnick days (

Miss Turtle’s treasure box

The leaf lower epidermis of Tilia × europaea T...

The leaf lower epidermis of Tilia × europaea T. cordata . Eglinton, North Ayrshire, Scotland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Every day, the toddlers and preschoolers hand me treasures that they find. And although a snail or a leaf may not seem like a treasure, they truly are.  I consider each  to be a gift from the heart and treat them accordingly. I have a box on my desk that contains all the gifts they give me. (with the exception of the life creatures, which get put back into the great outdoors where they need to be.)

Inside the box right now are 16 rocks, 12 twigs,49 buttons, multiple scraps of paper,6 safety pins,and a spool of bright orange thread. There are also numerous leaf rubbings. Leaf rubbings are how we preserve leaves,since they get so soggy or dry and crackly. And even leaves are treasures that deserve to be preserved.

Everyone should treasure the gifts of toddlers. Particularly the toddlers in my center. These kids have absolutely nothing left to give. Yet they hand over their most prized possessions. This is why I proudly display every gift I receive.

%d bloggers like this: