For the last eight years I have been teaching a class of kids that are 3 to 5 years old. I am consistently amazed by the wonderful things that come out of their mouths. Need an honest, unedited opinion on your outfit? Ask a four-year-old girl. She’ll tell you exactly what she thinks. (“Should I really trust a four-year-old’s opinion, though?” you ask? I often do. But then again, I love wearing pigtails and skipping in rain boots.) Want a preschool boy to like you? Make him some sort of transportation vehicle.
If you talk to a boy about an airplane, he’ll remember you for ten minutes; make the boy a plane, and he’ll love you for at least a couple months.
(And heck, if his life is only 36 months long so far, that’s a long time proportionally.) I used to help Hunter, one of my favorite little three-year-olds, make airplanes out of Trio blocks. He was always so proud and would show them to his dad when he got picked up. Each time he was a little more excited. A couple years later, I also had his little brother Hudson. The three of us would make planes and draw them on the whiteboard. One day, I drew Hudson a plane, and he said, “Miss Heiiiiidiiiiiii… drawl me a faster one!” “Ummm… how do I do that?” “Duh, silly. You make the wings lonnnngggeerrrrr!” Oh, I see. Why didn’t I think of that? After two years of bonding over airplanes, Hunter was sitting with me and said, “You know what, Miss Heidi? You’re like… like an airplane EXPERT! You can drawl them, make them with blocks, everything.” I’ll admit, it made my heart melt a little. A few weeks later, I found out that his dad is a commercial airline pilot. That’s right — Daddy can fly them, but I, Heidi, am an expert.
My first week with my new class in Stillwater, a couple of the boys were playing with some blocks, so I made them an airplane. I was instantly the coolest girl in the room. It’s all about first impressions. After playing with the plane for about 15 minutes, Luke looked up and said, “Heidi, this plane is so good it’s almost maaaaaagical.” Glad so know I’ve still got the touch. According to Cole, I can make a “pretty nifty train” as well, so if you ever need one, le’me know.
Want to impress a three-year-old? Tell them how old you are. They probably can’t even count that high.
Sometimes, preschoolers think anyone older than their brothers and sisters is probably about 100… or “one thousand-million.” Other kids say things like, “You’re probably like… like six or something!” Eh, close enough, right? Even better is when a class of all three-year-olds starts a discussion on ages. It went something like this:
“I’m three!” – Clay
“No way! I’m three, too!” -Cole
“Hey! I’m three as well!” -Mara
What three-year-old says “as well?”
“I’m three!!!” – David
At this point, the only other girl in class is just sitting there looking at them. This was her first week in the 3s class since her birthday was the week before.
“Wait! I is three! It’s muh birfday.” -Kennedy
“Is your birthday today?” -Kathryn
“No, it’s is Frubruwery.”
Please, let me interrupt this dialogue to add something — sometimes, as with Mara’s using the phrase “as well,” it is incredibly obvious what children’s parents say in front of them. So to all you preschool parents out there: if it shouldn’t be told to copious amounts of people, don’t share it with them. Luckily, the following example is PG. I promise.
“Can you believe it’s March ALREADY?” -Clay
“No! Time just goes by so fast!” -Cole
“It really does, doesn’t it?” -Kathryn
“Yeah, it’s unbelievable…” -Mara
Is this the Twilight Zone, or did this converstion really just happen? I thought they said they were three…
Ever had a philosophical discussion with a three year old? No? Try it. I dare you. Double dog dare.
One day, Kathryn and I were sitting at the table with a group of our 3s telling them the story of Barnabas and how he shared with people. Afterwards, I was asking them questions about the story.
“Who was our story about, David?”
Hey, close enough, right?
“What was he sharing with people? Clay, do you remember?”
“Uhh, clothes and foods and stuffs!”
Yay! They really were listening!
Then, Cole added…
“Um, but we aren’t supposed to share food with people.”
Uh oh… here we go…
“Well, we can share it, but we shouldn’t eat after people, right?” – Kathryn
“But you can’t share it with sick people. And you can’t lick sick people either.”
True, very true.
“I think maybe we should just make that a general rule, huh?” -Kathryn
Yeah, I’d say that’s probably a good rule to take to the next level.
“Sometimes dogs lick their noses.” -Mara
“Why do you think they do that?” – Kathryn
“Uh, because they like burgers.” -Cole
This began a hilarious game of Heidi-and-Kathryn-ask-the-kids-puzzling-question-and-suppress-giggles-at-their-adorable-responses.
“Why do dogs scratch themselves sometimes?”
“Because theys just ticklish allllll over!”- Mara
“Why does the sun rise every single day?”
“Because it’s morning time and that’s just the way it is!” -Mara
Good enough for me.
“Yeah… but we don’t like the sun.” -Cole
“Oh? Why is that?” – Kathryn
“Because it just never turns yellow, green, and then yellow again.” -Cole
No way! That’s why I don’t like the sun, too…
“Does the sun ever turn green?”
“Well, actually, I think that’s just on a different day…” -Mara
I’m scared to know what else goes on in those little heads of theirs…
If I shared everything that I love about my kids, this would need to be a book. No, books. Maybe something like the World Book Encyclopedia set– with their adorable smiling faces on the spines. Yeah, I’ll get right on that. For now, all I have is this humble little blog, so this shall be the end for today. But don’t worry, I have more in my drafts. You just wait.