Playing the train game in preschool

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on June 20, 2011

in Developmentally Appropriate Practices, Quick Tips for Preschool Teachers, Teachable Moments, The Value of Play

During our musical a few weeks ago, I taught the older children a little train song and dance. Part of what we did was use our chairs to make a train for the musical. The two year old children would often come into the room and watch us as we practiced the train song…

I went in the twos classroom sometime later and found them making their own train…

At first only one or two of the children were pushing the chairs around the room and it took me a few minutes to realize what they were doing….

Their teacher clued me in that her two year old students now love to make trains or turn their chairs into cars and push them around the room….

I just couldn’t help myself – I had to join into the fun and together we played trains. This is what teaching young children is all about. Letting children explore their environment can naturally lead to the expression of new ideas that are meaningful to them.

The first instinct of any adult may be to tell the children not to push the chairs or to make the children put the chairs back where they belong but something as simple as making trains with chairs introduces new vocabulary, promotes cooperation, fosters imagination, and can develop into other kinds of learning throughout the classroom day…

There is a time when the chairs need to go back where they belong but don’t be too quick to stop the play when it isn’t what you expect – there may just be some learning going on!

This article is being shared with you by Deborah Stewart of Teach Preschool - Sharing the wonders of early learning in action!

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