Last Thursday our final two Level I (Children’s House) groups of children were introduced to the Atrium. After looking at all of the items on the Prayer Table, the “gift” underneath was identified and the bell was unwrapped and enjoyed!
The children then had time for a “silent journey” around the Atrium. They were asked to walk quietly, looking only with their eyes. (Note several children holding their hands behind their backs to remind themselves not to touch anything with their hands!) After returning to the Prayer Table the children shared which materials looked “familiar” or “interesting” to them. The City of Jerusalem was a clear favorite!! Then one of the children demonstrated how to roll out a working mat and I demonstrated how to walk around a mat and how to work with a puzzle (without dumping out the pieces!). After the working mat had been rolled up and restored the children were invited to choose work! Returning children were welcome to take out anything they had been presented in the past and the new children were shown several “preliminary” works to choose from including bead stringing, lacing, and puzzles.
One young child chose a challenging board puzzle. After taking out all of the pieces she needed a little help getting started. Once shown where Jesus’ head fit into the frame, she was able to slowly and carefully complete the puzzle independently. And once it was completed she began again! This time she placed Jesus’ head into the frame herself and then proceeded to build the rest of the pieces around it, finishing just as the chime rang to invite the children to restore their work and return to the Prayer Table. Her focus and concentration on this one puzzle lasted the entire work time, around twenty-five minutes!