Around seven to ten years old, children begin to learn outside of pretend play, sensory play, and exploratory play. They still play, but they also want to read, watch the world, and talk to others.
In my forest kindergarten the children are very big dragon slayers – building and fortifying their castles from dragon attack to looking for dragon tracks to actually (shudder) going to look for them in the dense woods, it is a huge group activity. Do I get involved? The short answer is no. The longer answer is that I do if I am needed to as part of the facilitation process.
As early childhood educators and teachers most of us love to get down and dirty and play. We love to be fully engaged with the kids, playing as if we were kids. What can be wrong with that? Why am I selective about these times?