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jungle gym body

June 2, 2011

Lately I’ve been dreaming about furniture and room design – how the physical layout of a classroom can encourage sensory experiences, and what resources are available to make changes to our classes.  In the midst of this scheming, I am consistently struck by how just when I think I’ve got a goldmine of an idea, my students, ones not yet capable of uttering complete sentences or exercising bladder control, demonstrate that they are already two steps ahead of me.

Yesterday I watched as one of the caretakers led a group of toddlers in a clapping/jumping song.

Jump, jump, everybody jump

Early in the morning day

This is how the children jump

Early in the morning day

Jumping in the air

Oh butterfly

Ever so, ever so


The toddlers bobbed up and down as we chanted and clapped.  After a rousing finale of “High!” one of the toddlers wandered over to where I was sitting, a younger baby nodding off to sleep on my lap and my legs outstretched in front of me on the floor.  He paused, eyed my legs mischievously, and in one giant leap he cleared them. This was met with a chorus of guffaws and a rush of followers.  A line soon formed and one by one they’d hop over my legs, older toddlers performing impressive frog leaps and younger ones just as tickled by their ability to take giant wobbly steps. The challenge was taken to another level when stuffed animals were placed on one side of my legs and participants had to balance on top of them leading up to the feat. One daredevil even attempted to hold a foam block between his feet as he jumped.  I’ve surely acquired a few bruises from failed attempts, but with practice I’m sure those gross motor skills will be up to speed in no time.  So maybe we don’t need fancy balance beams after all.  Just a whole lot of legs.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 2, 2011 5:54 pm

    Sounds like the setting of a Shel Silverstein poem! (Mom’s been rediscovering A LIGHT IN THE ATTIC lately.)

  2. Libby permalink
    June 3, 2011 4:56 am

    I am so pleased to read that you continue to find inspiration in even the smallest thing. You are an amazing presence at that school. I can’t wait to hear what inspires you next!

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