We had the wonderful chance to celebrate Thanksgiving this year up at Sarah's new house. For those of you who don't know, my sister, Sarah, and her husband have spent this year building a new house on the side of a mountain in North-Central PA. It is a beautiful, huge house and they were crazy enough to invite all 24+ people to not only have dinner, but stay over a night or two too!
On our last day there (Friday), we went hiking to see the property and in that hiking came across a really cool stream (one of two on the property). This one snaked and forked and rushed its way down the side of the mountain. Perfect. Especially for preschool children. Without hesitation or preparation, the girls started doing the same thing my sisters and I used to do in the woods - play in the stream. Give any kid a stream, a stick, and some leaves and watch their imaginations soar. The girls took turns clearing sections of stream, blocking others, racing leaves down the mountainside, and getting pretty darn wet :) They had a BLAST! and I was not about to stop them. So what if they got wet and muddy (okay, I admit I was a little bit annoyed at that, but I kept it inside - it's just clothes and shoes, I reminded myself). Kids don't get to play like that anymore. We are too busy with lessons, schedules, and to-do lists to just let kids play. Play is the work of childhood, someone once said and it is true. There was all kinds of learning going on in that play. There were gross motor skills being developed, problem solving, physics, science, etc. but that ultimately didn't matter. They were learning in the way that kids this age should learn....by playing.
Elianna hard at work