It’s that time of year when change is visible all around us. We notice the trees as they begin to show us their color before losing their leaves. The mornings are crisper and it is time to switch out warm-weather clothing for a lightweight jacket. When we look at the children who entered our classrooms a few months ago, they are changing and growing, too. There are visible changes such as needing bigger clothing, making new friendships outside of family, or learning to tie their shoes. Along with visible changes we’ve noticed, just like the ones in nature, there are also internal transformations happening. The children are settling into their routines, learning the names of new friends, engaging with new materials, and accomplishing tasks independently. Each of these adds to a profound sense of self and self-worth, an invisible transformation that begins in childhood. Change is always happening. Sometimes we can see it and sometimes it’s less visible, but its direction and growth is up to us.
The Preschool is humming with conversations about Halloween and costumes. This is a time when children decide what they want to be – and we often hear different ideas from them in the time leading up to Halloween. So far this year I’ve heard a bird, witch, nature cat, and Paw Patrol, among others! This type of costume or dress-up for children is different from the usual dramatic play we see in our classrooms each day. We see children take on roles of family members, animals, vehicles, or other people they see in their lives. This type of pretend play allows children to try out new ideas, take risks, use newly acquired language skills, problem-solve, and build relationships with their classmates. While Halloween is the topic of conversation, our Preschool friends are pretending to be many different roles as a part of their healthy development.