Friday, May 9, 2008

Chalk It Up!

Let me tell you what I think of when someone says the word "chalk".

Hopscotch (as pictured above) - I loved playing this game as a child. I don't remember the point of the game really I guess it's just bragging rights for whoever can do it fastest and right. The most fun was probably drawing it on the sidewalk.

Pool - You also use chalk in a game of pool.

Gymnastics - Gymnasts put chalk on their hands in order to keep from slipping off bars and breaking something useful.

Teachers - Probably the oldest use of chalk is on blackboards. That's what I would say it's primary use is for.

Alright, these things listed above are all things that naturally come to mind when someone says "chalk".

And these are also all things that do NOT come to mind when you are a three year old and you hear the word chalk. Nope, not even close. Let me tell you what does come to mind though.

Today we took two of the three year old classes out to play on the playground since it was a beautiful beautiful day. The other teacher, Rafaela brought out a bucket of sidewalk chalk and told the kids they could doodle on the sidewalk.

So that went well.... for like 3 minutes. I mean you can only write the first letter of your name and then what is "trying" to be the rest of your name but comes out like gibberish about 5 times and you're over it.

So they put their little brains to work. What can we do with this chalk besides draw on the sidewalk? Hmm.....

Well, here's what they came up with:
  • Coloring on plastic, which just builds up the amount of chalk on the plastic and uses the chalk up very very quickly. And what would they do after that? Well, sit on it of course. Not on accident, that was their master plan, to have pink, blue and green bottoms.

  • Use it as a bug killer. Yep, I can't tell you how the game got started. Well, I think one kid saw an ant and decided to use the end of her chalk to kill it, cuz in her words, "ants are stinky!" But apparently, her idea was a hit because the kids then took their chalk stick and went "bug hunting" to kill any critter that dare step foot on their play ground. Unfortunately, we just put out bug killer so the game ended quickly......Next idea...

  • Definitely color with your chalk on your hands and see who can make the better "chalk print" on the other kids clothes. Yes, the parents love picking up their children with chalk hand prints all over their child.

  • As makeup. I wish... oh how I wish I had a camera today. Clearly, chalk is made to go on the face because believe me, it goes on there very easily, but somehow does not come off as easy if it's left on there for more than about a minute. The most common look was blue chalk eyeshadow with a pink circle all the way around the face and just a tad of chalk lip gloss in the shade of purple. I seriously thought these parents were going to pick them up and wonder if they had been beat at school with all the blue and purple all over their faces.

Yeah.... with these kids, the possibilities with chalk are endless. I really think they could have played with it all day and never gotten bored.

It's so flippin' crazy how something so small, so cheap, so simple can really entertain a child. It makes me think that we really do take for granted the little things once we get older. Play with little ones all day and believe me your outlook will be much different because they have imaginations and they put 'em to work everyday. They also put me to work today, I'm absolutely exhausted, kids from 8 to 5, don't tell me it's not hard work!!!

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