I talked with my students several times about this leading up to the day. We discussed the sorts of things they could bring and I emailed and sent a Seesaw message to the parents about the day too. During the day I took photos to tweet to the #GSPD2019 hashtag and to Seesaw home to parents.
On the day we had four key words for the day: kindness, sharing, creativity and fun. The children were also asked to respect the toys, especially the toys they were using that did not belong to them personally.
The only expectation in regards to the toys was not to bring any devices or electronic games. Students could bring a game that had batteries if it was integral to the game, such as Operation for example.
Thankfully, no one brought any devices. But one child brought a karaoke microphone. And I can confirm that it projects sound quite impressively.
Other cool things the students brought with them included:
- blankets/sheets to make forts
- stuffed toys and dolls
Last year I was experimenting with Lego challenges for Literacy and Creativity. I intend to use Lego this year for students to demonstrate their thinking in mathematics as well.
Some of my Lego is actual Lego, but I am eternally grateful to have supplemented some of it with the 'Play' brand from the Warehouse. It just makes it that much more plentiful for the children to play with. I was also able to source a Lego table via Facebook Marketplace last year which the children really like to use.
I always put the Lego books in with the Lego to give them ideas, but they are getting a bit munted. So I may need to start putting them into a clearfile so they have more longevity.
Below the children are playing with their stuffed toys and my shop and kitchen toys.
One of the girls brought bubbles with her. She and two other girls had a lot of fun playing outside our class in the area our caretaker fenced off with rope and fencing standards for our outdoor play area.
These children below were having a lot of fun with their stuffed toys and the shop and kitchen toys.
It was very interesting for me to watch the children. Things I took note of were:
- who different people played with
- what toys they gravitated to
- where in the class they played
- their co-operation skills
- their creativity
- their ability to problem solve.
And as you can see above, there was some major engineering and building works happening within the blanket fort too.
But not everyone used their blankets to make a covered fort. Others used their blankets to mark their play territory within the classroom.
Some of the children enjoyed using the construction set with the screws and nuts to get creative....
I guess it doesn't take a genius to figure out slime would make an appearance at the Play Day...
It was nice to see our outside play area used for some good old fashioned handstands.
And a bit of Nerf gun warfare too.
The maths equipment was also popular. The students in my class like to make domino trails to set off.
The cars and the garage were also a popular item and it's great to see the girls playing cars too. Although at one stage they had the garage lined with stuffed toys and I was too slow to get a photo!
My magnetic toys got a good work out on the day too. And the children creatively used their own toys in with the Lego to create what they wanted.
Over all I found the Global School Play Day to be a success. We played from 9:30 through until 12:30 and the children worked well together. Disagreements were few and I only had to remind people three times to share. No one was bored and they were creative in their play. I personally found the day quite relaxing, and I put it down to the fact that Room 7 is now a Year 3/4 class.
Most children brought toys with them from home, but some forgot. But that was ok because sharing was one of our key words for the day and there was also plenty of classroom toys to play with.
Because it was in Week 2 of our school year, it was a great way for the students to build relationships, as I kept some children from last year, but the balance came from two other classrooms, one was completely new to the school and one was returning to the school after a year away.
Before the end of the day, I asked the students to give me some feedback about the day. The overwhelming feed back was it was fun, that they got to play with other people and toys, making things was fun, being creative was fun and they made new friends.
I am now looking forward to #GSPD2020!