~ early education care ~ where our play supports our learning

Ah, Mixed Ages……

As all my families know I love having a mixed ages program. Continually I see the benefit to all age groups in the day to day interactions.

Today’s snow day meant a small group. I decided to get the kids involved in swapping out toys. The group decided the Little Tykes people sets needed to come out for usage. To make space small figurines and some block sets were taken out.

I taped the play once it started just to have as a record of daily activity.

This video is even school-age and preschool. Notice the imaginative play that develops a solid story line. Everyone who wishes to be involved can be.

IMG 0717 from Country Fun Child Care on Vimeo.

The next program day the children were excited to see the sets out. This group had no school-age, but rather preschool to 2 yr. olds. A different interaction among the children as they all tried to use the toys. Story lines were independent and not as involved. Still had fun playing with.

IMG 0718 from Country Fun Child Care on Vimeo.

As the week went on the more interaction with the school-age, the more modeling of story line, the more it has begun to appear in the play of the younger children.
This is the benefit of a mixed-ages program: natural modeling in play provided by the older children and the willingness to follow along and begin internalizing by the younger children. The older children are learning patience, empathy and leadership. Language is developed.
I truly believe that learning that occurs in this natural manner between children stays with them and supports the building of a strong foundation for future learning. It not the same if I’m sitting there directing the play.

Author: countryfun

35+ yrs in the classroom ~ love teaching ~ PLAY! ~ technology in ECE ~ sharing books ~ STEAM starts in ECE ~ outdoors ~ being CREATIVE!!

One Comment

  1. Hi. I came across your site on twitter. I’m very impressed with your teaching style and intrigued by the videos. I own a small webstore for preschool kids (toys games & more). I am a g’ma of a 4 yr old grandson and a nurse with Child Dev classes under my belt. I love preschoolers and I was very interested to see how you utilize multiple ages playing together to help kids develop and learn. Glad to have found your site. Good luck in all your endeavors. Feel free to go to my site and contact me thru the contact us pg or the email above works too. Webstore is

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