Liam's Cat School (PM Class)

One of the best things about being outside in such a large space is that it allows all the children to play in their own way and according to their own needs on each day. Some spend most of the time in very physical play, running and climbing for a large portion of the time while others might prefer a calmer play, such as creating a "soup" with found materials in our mud kitchen pots. When children need time by themselves, they can find that as well. There is a group of children in the afternoon class who spend a lot of time in "pretend play"- specifically, pretending to be animals. They might ask for another child (or a teacher) to "be their owner". Often when they ask this of a teacher, we will try to help them engage other children in the play, so we might be heard calling "I have a sweet kitty who is looking for an owner!' to the general group, trying to help that "sweet kitty" find another child to play with.

Something like that happened today with a group of children who were pretending to be cats. Thora, Astrid and Kingston were pretending to be cats when Liam and I came upon their game. Liam does not usually play this type of game, but he seemed to be looking for someone to engage with. He first suggested that he could be the "bad guy" and the cats could fight him. They did not like that idea and moved away from him. Thora came up to me and said that I needed to be her owner to protect her from the "bad guy". I told her that I didn't really know much about how to take care of cats and that I would need to get some help. She suggested a "cat school". I asked the group if they knew of a nearby cat school. Liam immediately took the invitation and said that he was starting one up at the fort. This seemed to be a game that everyone was comfortable with. Liam jumped into the role, telling the cats where to sit (when they didn't listen he told them it was OK if they crawled around on the fort, as long as they were listening). They meowed in response. He told them about how to be good cats and then showed them a game- a fetch game where he thew them each individual sticks to chase. Then he fed them "tuna fish". He seemed to like this role and it gave him a way to engage with this group.

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