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Children and teachers playing at The Peace Place.

This morning was the big morning for The Peace Place! Children arrived on the scene. Yesterday, the workshop participants learned about setting up learning centers and practiced activities they could do with a group of children. At first the day was chaotic with children and their caregivers in the centers. It did not take long, however, for the children to get the idea of playing seriously. Some wandered a bit, but many found an activity and wished to play with it for an extended time.   Measuring and pouring water was fun for both children and teachers! Some children, as everywhere in the world, intently filled trucks and moved sand. Some brothers played with the dolls. When the oldest two brothers wandered off, the youngest spent a great deal of time doing many different things with the dolls and puppets. One of the things the workshop participants/teachers learn is not to rush a child or to interrupt his or her play. Let the child carry through with whatever is going on in the brain. The brain is growing! Some older children spent a time in the reading/math readiness center matching butterflies with their shapes. Others spent time drawing. They gathered for a song. Guess what it was! “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” (see the picture)! The children left and the excited teachers chatted happily throughout their break. Then came evaluation of the centers. The teachers were fully engaged: what happened? what didn’t happen? what do we do next time?