Today was the first day with all 20 kids this year. My assistant and I decided to spend the day playing and getting to know these precious souls before we hit the ground running with our curriculum. It was a decision I do not regret. I had a wonderful time exploring, pretending, and just generally being a kid again. We built a castle using the life size lego blocks wearing our paper crowns. We spied for the dragon using our paper towel holder telescope and slayed it with our pointer swords when he knocked down our castle. Our story was repeated several times so everyone could wear the towel to be the dragon. We built a zoo to contain all the runaway animals that wandered along the road rug in the block center. Housekeeping turned in the doctor's office where we took our babies to get their school shots. But the best use of our imagination was when we went outside and turned our 8x8 sandbox into the beach. I enjoyed playing with my kids today. I observed more language, reading, and math skills during our time together than any paper assessment would have told me. I think the "play all day" approach is one I should stop and take more often.