We belong to a co-op preschool, which means about once a month I help out in the classroom. One of responsibilities of the co-op parent is to provide the snack. I usually try to bring in something the kids can make, so this time we did fruit kabobs. I hadn’t really thought through the process, so it was a little disorganized with the first few kids, but once I got things figured out it was a great project. Each child got an orange, with both ends cut, a straw, two strawberries and half a banana. For the first group I gave the kids the fruit whole, but I quickly realized having the kids, peel, slice and skewer the fruit was too much, so I cut the fruit and let them focus on the assemble process. I didn’t get any pictures of them assembling the kabobs, as I said I wasn’t organized. Some of the kids put a lot of effort into making the kabobs and tried to make patterns or group all the same fruit together. Others put on one piece of fruit and called it a kabob. Almost all of the kids spent a lot of time just trying to suck the juice out of the orange, I had intended for them to do this at snack time, but a straw is just too much fun.
Not a new observation, but boys and girls very are different. Yesterday I had six kids between the ages of 4 and 6 at my house. 3 boys and 3 girls. They all played together for a little while and then they began drifting off into their own teams, the boys went off to the backyard – to the tree fort, the tools and bamboo sticks – while the girls stayed in the front yard with the bikes and scooters. From the front yard came screaming, from the back came the sounds of sticks being hit together in battle. The girls set up a gas station, drove around and did errands. The boys battled enemies and worked on fortifying the fort. When the boys ventured back to the front yard there were collisions and cars that needed to be repaired. When the girls went in the backyard the boys started roaring and throwing balls at them. The girls screamed, fought back for a while and then just walked away. The boys were not ready to end the battle and followed the girls back to the front yard. Jumped on the cars and in front of the bikes, trying as hard as they could to get the girls to re-engage in battle. The girls screamed, fought a little more, then walked away again, this time to go inside and get out the dress-up clothes. The boys returned to the battles in the backyard while the girls began playing a very elaborate game of house. Throughout the afternoon the kids would occasionally break from their group to go play with the other group, or all the kids would come together for a little while, but for the most part the boys stuck together as did the girls. They were ok playing with the other “team” for a bit, but they definitely preferred the playing style of their “own kind”