I love it. Watching what kids choose to do with their time and how they interact is fascinating. For the K through 5th graders, we are now playing exclusively in the woods and on the soccer field because of the Discovery Center construction. I take to the woods with them - my favorite place.
Some kids have become expert at finding salamanders - they turn over every rock and know just where to look. Some have become expert shelter builders - and dam builders as the recent rain has filled the creek. There are chase games, climbing games, and some children who wander - sometimes speaking to themselves - quite engaged inside their own imaginations. Five first grade girls practiced on Monday to put on a show - choreographed by the pavilion hill. They ran down to stand on a picnic table bench and dance and sing Bad Blood.
The other day it snowed, and that brought a whole different way to play. It mainly seemed to be all about eating the snow.
Children desperately need the time to create imaginative play scenarios, to run and to build things, and to negotiate conflict and rules - learning the fine points of the give and take of their social lives. Sometimes there are tears. Mostly it's pure joy!