Today was the kiddo’s end-of-school-year picnic. They hold it at a lovely local park every year, and it’s some really good fun. It’s a very small Montessori school (pre-k through 3rd) and the teachers are wonderful. For the picnic, I appreciate that they keep it simple and classic.
For the first hour, the kids were free to roam the huge playground while the parents mingled and the potluck is set up over at the picnic pavilion. The second hour was an old-fashioned field day. The preschoolers competed in a foot race, hopping race, and skipping race. The older kids also had a sack race and egg-and-spoon race.
Several parents commented that at most schools these days – especially public schools in California – such things are probably not allowed anymore. Sack races are probably just asking for someone to get stitches. They’re also seriously fun, though.
The third hour was a potluck lunch and more running around time for the kids. These kids all have great, active imaginations and it’s fun to get to watch the interactions between ages two all the way through ten. One of my favorite things about Montessori is the mixed-age classrooms, where kids learn to get along and interact with kids outside the standard cookie cutter arrangement of only being with their age-mates.
I loved watching them all play with a long stick that quickly changed from sword to wand to hobby horse to baseball bat to stylus for drawing in the dirt as it changed hands in a rapid-fire fashion. Better than any professional improv group can do with a prop.
It’s sad that such events are so rare now. I try to get her more outdoor time and more time to just run around and play, but it feels like this sort of thing is going the way of the dinosaurs.
Maybe I need to start a play group dedicated purely to letting the kids run around with absolutely no structured activities – just imaginations, dirt, sticks, and a whole lot of letting them be themselves. Don’t worry, I’ll bring the first aid kit, too… after all, I am fully aware of how much she inherited my klutziness!
What are your favorite outdoor activities to do with the kids?