As the holidays approach us, Santa decided what a better time to come and visit all of our Nursery friends. Santa showed up at 9:30 sharp and began to greet the children with little baggies filled with goodies his elf’s had made. After he had delivered the goodie bags, Santa decided it was time to have a seat at the kitchen table in our house center, as Santa sat down all the children ran over filled with joy. The children were skipping, smiling and shouting with excitement as they approached Santa to see if he would be up for some freshly baked cookies. Santa responded to the children with “yes, please”, at that moment the children grabbed two baking sheets and divided the cookies out on each baking sheet and then placed them in the oven. One child made the sound of the oven beeping to let the other children know that the cookies were now done. As Santa enjoyed the cookies, the children gave him a carton of milk to help the cookies go down. The cookies were gone and it was time to turn that house area into Santa’s workshop, the children quickly gave themselves a job as Santa’s elf’s and began to make toys using plaster scene and other open ended loose parts found around the room. After all the gifts were made the elf’s lined up behind Santa with a gift in hand and delivered the gifts to the other children throughout the room as Santa chanted “HO HO HO”. Back to the North Pole he goes to prepare for our holiday time.
As I observed this play I could not stop smiling with joy as the children were all so full of excitement as thrill that they had the opportunity to engage in play with Santa and be along side him for the duration of Nursery School. This type of play was a form of imitative play which allows the children to reenact previous life experiences or recall knowledge that is already existing. During this experience the children engaged with Santa based on what they already knew about Santa, the elf’s make the presents so the children did just that. Another great example of imitative play is that some families make a treat and eave it for Santa before bed and in their play the children did that, they made the original cookies and fed them to Santa. The children also demonstrated symbolic play throughout this experience as they used other objects in the room to represent something different then it’s original purpose. Symbolic play was shown when the children made Santa cookies, which they used wood circles to represent their cookie and for the toys that the elf’s made they used plaster scene to make toys that represent a toy they enjoy and then they added by using animals and fabric to make objects like pillows, key boards and so much more. This whole experience let the children use their imagination and it was very neat to see how each individual child had a different experience with Santa but were able to come together and engage in a type of play that they all had in common (EX: Santa has elf’s).
Ashlie Johnston Nursery School Educator