Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Back at the school...

Since the first of the school year I have worked a few hours a week at The Princess' pre-school. It certainly doesn't pay the bills, but it gets us out of the house. Most importantly, those hours of work occupy the time that I would otherwise be sans children. And the math works out something like this:

ME, with free time - The Children = Expensive for The Boss Lady

or the corollary:

Child1+School+(Child2+School)+(Me-Work)=Bankrupt Wife

During my work days, about half of the time I end up working in a classroom, substituting for a regular classroom teacher. The rest of the time I am supposed to be planning and running "Outdoor Programs". Yeah, I don't really know what that means either...

Sometimes I plan gardening or nature study activities. Once in a while I let the kids pound nails into old tree stumps. Occasionally we saw big pieces of wood into little pieces of wood with real hand saws. No power tools here. Do YOU want a 4 year old running around the playground with a cordless reciprocating saw? Yeah, neither do I.

Anyways, I think I found a new favorite activity for the kiddos today. And I think all of my effort to find interesting activities for the kids has been wasted. We have a couple of those battery powered bubble machines around the school, so I set one of the bubble machines up on a second story walkway that cuts through the playground. We had gazillions of bubbles everywhere.

At one point I counted 41 kids on the playground. 35 of them were either chasing bubbles or working on the nature study project I had planned. The rest were playing on some of the almost $75K in playscape equipment that the school recently bought.

Yep 6 kids occupied by a massive playground. 30 or more entertained by a $12 bubble blower and a gallon of bubble soap that cost somewhere near a buck. I am fairly sure the bubble children went home a lot more tired than the playground kids. And getting the kids tired enough that they take an afternoon nap is what pre-school really is about, right? Oh admit it. That education thing will work itself out in Kindergarten...

After seeing that today, my current advice is this: If your kid's school wants to upgrade the playground. Slip 'em a twenty dollar bill and tell the PTA to buy a bubble blower and keep the change for extra batteries.


Anonymous said...

That's great. It's right up there with cardboard boxes and pot lids!

Yet...for C-mas we STILL bought flashy electronic crap and guess how much use it gets?


Anonymous said...

"That education thing will work itself out in Kindergarten..."

So true. I'm laughing my backside off here.

I love that the bubbles are more motivating than formal play equipment. It confirms my observations about how life really works, which in essence is: less is more.