Yesterday morning my three year old got all excited about finding dinosaur prints in the sidewalk. We had all sized of prints to find and follow on the way to pre-school. It was a lot of fun. She would talk about what dinosaur made what print. There were a lot of baby dinosaur prints and eventually she found a baby dinosaur that she took to pre-school. My five year old decided that he found dragon prints and a baby dragon to take to pre-school.
Now we did not actually find dinosaur prints, we found footprints of people and animals in the cement as well as tool and equipment markings, and chunks missing from the sidewalk. They were all dinosaur or dragon prints to my kids. We talked about how big each dinosaur or dragon was to make a print this big or this little. Sometimes there was a herd of little dinosaurs and other times there was just a few bigger prints.
I liked how creative they both were. It was funny when they both decided they found a baby and had to catch it and take it to pre-school with them. We talked about their babies the rest of the way to the pre-school. It was enjoyable looking for more dragon or dinosaur prints, talking about the babies they found and just having fun with my kids. When I picked them up from pre-school it seems the babies had left to go home sometime during the day and that we might find them again.
All of this came from my kids. I just went along for the ride. I gave them the freedom to run with their imagination by leaving our house early so there was no rush to get to the school. I listened to what they had to say, looked at what they pointed to and showed interest and enthusiasm in everything. I did not say, no that is not a dinosaur print it is a cats print or tool markings or just a hole in the sidewalk. I agreed that it must be a dinosaur print and let things go from there. It took little to no work on my part to show interest and to be part of it, the kids loved it and I thought it was great. It is interesting what kids come up with when we just let them be kids. I think the next time the walk to or from pre-school starts to become stressful I am going to find some dinosaur footprints of my own in the sidewalk.