The chances in preschool

If you give a child a pitcher of juice, chances are she will spill it…

If you give a child a crayon, chances are she will scribble with it…

If you give a child a puzzle, chances are she will dump it…

If you give a child a set of paints, chances are he will mix it…

If you give a child a pile of corn seed, chances are he will scatter it…

If you give a child a length of ribbon, chances are he will knot it…

If you give a child a length of tape, chances are he will tangle it…

If you give a child an M&M to count, chances are he will taste it…

If you give a child batter to mix, chances are she will touch it…

If you give a child a bottle of glue, chances are she will waste it…

If you give a child a balloon to hold, chances are he will let go of it…

If you give a child rubber fish, chances are he will squirt it…

If you give a child a waterbead, chances are he will squish it…

If you give a child wet dirt, chances are she will step in it…

If you give a child a handful of slime, chances are she will drop it…

But the greatest chance you can take in preschool is to take no chances at all!


By |2012-05-18T07:00:10+00:00May 18th, 2012|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Karen May 18, 2012 at 7:31 am - Reply

    I can’t even believe my eyes when I started reading this post…
    Just yesterday I got an email from a mom asking can we please not let her child play in the dirt anymore? When she comes to pick her up, she has to clean her up before she can take her anywhere. This child is in my care for 71/2 hours a day. I have been working for three years now on changing the attitude of my boss and support staff who work in my room about this very topic. In fact, I sat down on my computer JUST NOW to find brain related research to support my “say yes to the mess” policy.
    And what do I find? This inspiration. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

  2. Nancy May 18, 2012 at 8:20 am - Reply

    Thanks so much for posting this. I often tell parents that an important part of my job is to provide the messy experiences that are so vital in brain development,. Without these experiences their children would be lacking some key elements in their educational journey. My favorite line is “We provide the messy experiences here that you would rather avoid at home.” My parents laugh, but they usually agree. They would much prefer that I have the messy room to clean while they only have to clean the child!

  3. Scott May 18, 2012 at 8:33 am - Reply

    A great post, Deborah! It reminded me of a sign I saw recently: “Sorry about the mess but we’re learning here.”

    Here’s to taking more chances!

  4. Susan Case May 18, 2012 at 9:16 am - Reply

    Great post! Love it!

  5. Kimira May 18, 2012 at 9:22 am - Reply

    Deborah, that was extremely inspiring. I am sharing it .

  6. Lori May 18, 2012 at 9:26 am - Reply

    oh I love this!

  7. cathy May 18, 2012 at 9:27 am - Reply

    Very nice!

  8. Janet May 18, 2012 at 9:37 am - Reply

    Right on target!

  9. lori May 18, 2012 at 10:13 am - Reply

    i love not only this but some of the comments supporting this outlook as well. if you ladies don’t mind, i would like to borrow some quotes for our open house this week and in september. what a great community of teachers i belong to who “believe in messes.” 🙂

  10. Renelik May 18, 2012 at 10:13 am - Reply

    thanks for the timely reminder. I just lost my cool with my boys. I forgot they deserve a chance.

  11. Joan May 18, 2012 at 10:21 am - Reply

    Love this so much and I want to share it at our staff meeting next week! I usually am the last teacher to leave each day because I am cleaning up the “mess”! I think that I have more fun than the kids!!!

  12. Mud Hut Mama May 18, 2012 at 10:40 am - Reply

    This is exactly what I needed to read today! Thank you so much for posting it!

  13. Diane Quigley-Clune May 18, 2012 at 11:20 am - Reply

    Hi Deborah,

    Yes indeed I agree completely!
    I have been receiving your blog ideas each day but just recently it has not appeared in my inbox….any troubles with it that you are aware of?
    I also wanted to share the quote below with you and your readers.
    Thanks again for all you do.

    “I like interesting people and kids are really interesting people.”
    “And if you didn’t paint them in little blue, pink and yellow, it’s even more interesting. “. Maurice Sendak

  14. Lisa Howie May 18, 2012 at 12:09 pm - Reply

    Honest post about the wonder of learning through taking chances. It’s not just for preschool! Wish all our schools could appreciate the value of taking chances and learning through experience, trial and error.
    Thanks for sharing.

  15. [email protected] May 18, 2012 at 12:11 pm - Reply

    Wonderful post! You need to make it into a poster or a children’s book. Loved it.

  16. Allison May 18, 2012 at 4:43 pm - Reply

    Love love love this Deborah! It’s so true and sums up how our attitudes should be. Beautifully written. Thank you for taking the time to put this together.

  17. Jacki C. May 18, 2012 at 9:55 pm - Reply

    I loved that!

  18. Joyce @Childhood Beckons May 19, 2012 at 5:44 am - Reply

    Oh, I was smiling the whole time I read this. So true. This is an absolutely beautiful post. Thank you so much for sharing!

  19. Debs - Learn with Play @ home May 19, 2012 at 6:24 am - Reply

    What a lovely post 🙂 One I have to share.

  20. Denise DeLong May 19, 2012 at 11:01 am - Reply

    I had a prospective parent call me this week and ask, “Is your program just social, or academic?” She wanted me to know that her soon-to-be 3-year-old was already writing her name, knew all of her ABCs, etc. I had to remind her that preschool is more than cognitive skills, and this backs me. There is SO MUCH more to what we do, and parent education is key!

    Thank you for your blog, I’ll be sharing it!

  21. Jessica May 19, 2012 at 12:14 pm - Reply

    I Love this Thank you so much for sharing this! The best parts of my day are the messes with the kids weather its shaving cream art painting with pudding or just playing in mud. I have been thankful so far to have parents that understand though there kids are “just having fun” they are learning so much though the sensory conversations and questions they ask and a lot of times end up answering there selves there are those few parents who want there kiddos looking like there Sunday best at all times I had a parent of a 2 year old get upset once because she was playing on the slide and might get dirty. She then informed us that she enrolled her child to learn not to play. When it was explained to her that children learn best through there play. She considered it a few minutes and then said I want her looking her best her looks represent me. The only thing I can say to this is that poor child for the 91/2 hours a day I had her in care she got to put on play clothes and make as much “mess” fun as she wanted. Her personality started coming out and she interacted more with the other children the minute mom came in she was very careful of what she would touch and even picked her cup up ever so carefully. This is no life for a child children should be able to play and enjoy there childhood and if they learn a little (a lot) in the process Great! but as we all know learning is so much better when you enjoy it.

  22. Kristine May 19, 2012 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    If you give a child real opportunities to do things, chances are they will learn…

    This is great!! Thank you for sharing and I wish more teachers would be taking chances, for all age groups.

  23. The Iowa Farmer's Wife May 19, 2012 at 2:55 pm - Reply

    so lovely Deborah!!!! Love all the pictures too!

  24. Amy May 19, 2012 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    Deborah, I just love it, I would like to turn it into a poster for the fall school year. Thank you so much for sharing this. I love your website.

  25. JDaniel4's Mom May 19, 2012 at 7:30 pm - Reply

    This truly wonderful and so true. I pinned this post.

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