On the day that seven classrooms were planning to take a field trip to the Dane County Fair, mother nature had other ideas. The field trip was cancelled due to severe thunderstorms.
In the Blue Room, many children were incredibly disappointed that we were not going to the fair, until one student said “Why don’t we have our own fair right here?”. The teachers said “Why not?”
Then another student asked, “Can we put sparkly glitter in the sensory table water?” and the teachers said “Why not?”
Another asked, “Can we invite the whole school?” the teachers thought about it for a minute and replied, “Why not?”
We created a poster and walked around to every classroom to invite them to our fair. We even made an announcement over the loudspeaker to the whole school to let them know about our fair!
As we started planning for the fair, children got to decide what games we should play and how we should design them. The children set up the point values for our bean bag toss and decided which basket was the most difficult.
We puts tubes in place for our marble racing game.
We set up a game to use popsicle sticks to balance pennies, and one to blow on ping pong balls to race them across our purple sparkly water!
Another classroom created their own magnetic fishing game, and we set that up too.
Two students noticed that if we throw the “squiggs” (suction cup silicone toys) at the window, they sometimes stick! We drew a bullseye on the window to see who could get the closest to the center!
When the field trip was cancelled, as teachers, we had come up with alternative plans for our day – which were much less exciting. We had no idea that we would be creating an entire fair in our room, but we followed the children’s lead.
This experience reminded us how to turn a disappointing situation into an incredible opportunity for classroom connection, bonding and creativity! We got to see children’s ingenuity in action as they took charge of planning and hosting our fair. We especially loved seeing so many other classrooms come to our fair and participate in games that we had created.
As teachers this experience gave us the opportunity to be reminded that children have so many capabilities and ideas that exceed our own. We are constantly learning alongside the children in our classroom. Sometimes the most important thing to say is, “Why not?”
Instead of planning each detail ahead of time we went with our wonderful spur of the moment ideas. Instead of buying expensive decorations we made do with what materials we already had. By saying, “Why not?” to children’s ideas we had a fantastic PSA fair that everyone got to participate in and enjoy!
Reflection by the Blue Room co-teachers, Alice Sullivan and Emily Ochitill