Monday, May 26, 2014

Simple life

We have been making good use of our tiny pool / giant bathtub. Ryan especially loves it. I mix in some hot water so that the pool is nice and warm and he can stay as long as he likes in it.

Lately, he has been calling it his "aquarium tank", after one session when I dumped toy sea animals inside. He said it was like swimming in a big aquarium. He's happy with the dolphins and the sharks and even the squid, but he always boots the octopus out (I usually throw the octopus back into the pool to tease him - can you spot it in this photo below?).

About two sessions ago, Ryan set up a water slide on the wall. It was the simplest of water slides - just a slanted pool noodle for the water to go down, with a bucket at the bottom end. I helped him to secure it with masking tape, but otherwise it was all him, and I didn't try to improve the set up for him at all. 

I wanted to give him the chance to take full ownership of his accomplishment, to know that he could make things happen, to be confident that his ideas were worthy, and to know that I appreciate him as he is. I didn't want to deprive him of that powerful feeling of, "I can do this."

After he set it up, he played with the slide repeatedly, just pouring water into it over and over again, filling up the bucket and emptying the bucket, and starting over again and again. 

The following Monday at school, during the class morning meeting when the students shared what they did over the weekend, his water slide was the first thing he talked about, including how he set it up and how he played with it. 

At the next session in the pool, he set it up again with just as much interest and enthusiasm.

It was a simple, simple thing, yet there was so much value from the experience. Good stuff.


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