Recently, LR discovered that he is strong enough to lift up most of the stumps in our backyard, independently. If you’re not familiar with our backyard stumps, the ground beneath them is a habitat of much exploration of various creatures, especially worms. The stumps are quite large and heavy, though somewhat lighter in the summer when they are dry and not weighted down with moisture. Anyway, LR found that he could lift the stumps independently, and he has been volunteering to do this for the other children during explore time. (The three photos in sequence below are from July 9th, the first time I observed LR lifting a stump).
This morning, HA, JL and CG were interested in lifting up the stumps. HA asked me to lift the stumps, and I said that I know LR can lift up the stumps, and suggested that HA ask him for help.
HA (to LR): Can you lift the stumps? Can you lift the stumps for us?
LR: Yeah, okay!
LR lifted a stump and the children began talking excitedly about what they saw there. We only found one worm under this particular stump, but the children had lots of questions about how to pick it up gently, with many attempts to do so. As the group moved to another stump, AK, ZC and NB joined us to talk about a different worm, a slug, and a beetle. NB brought a cup over and scooped up the worm for everyone to examine.
The children were ready to put down that stump and lift another, but LR was engaged in another activity by that time. So ZC attempted to lift the stump on her own, then called out, “Help! Help lift the stump!” And so, hearing the call to action, CW and JL came over to lend a hand. The three of them together were able to lift up that stump. How many two-year-olds does it take to lift a stump? Looks like the answer is three two-year-olds (or one three-year-old).
Cooperation is a big theme for this school, especially this year, and today it was noteworthy to me that the children are more open to asking one another for help, and they’re more and more receptive to lending a hand when asked by another child.