Muppet Theory in Preschool

Muppet Theory in Preschool

I heard a bit on NPR the other day about Muppet Theory.  This is the idea that people can be categorized as being an “order muppet” (think Bert) or a “chaos muppet” (think Animal or Cookie Monster).


As you think about the people in your life, spouse, siblings, children, I am sure that you can decide who is which.


At Chrysalis we make room for both types.  There are such a wide variety of choices that children who thrive in order and quiet and focussed attention can find that and children who are loud and exuberant and messy can do that also.


And of course children are not only chaos or order ALL the time.  OR sometimes they are.  And then it is our job as early educators to nudge them a bit out of their comfort zone.  The child who is afraid to get messy discovers that she loves painting once she tries it.  And once she was comfortable and trusting, she allowed us to nudge her to try it.


This year a boy told me that he didn’t like puzzles because he didn’t want to do things the way “they” want him to. He only wants to do things his own way.  I was so impressed with the self analysis.  It was a very true statement and he realized it himself.  We found him a “puzzle” that could be done many different ways as long as you observed certain rules.  (Start with the long ones …there are always places for the short ones)  He could do it his way and yet needed to follow some guidelines.


Like life.


As I visit other schools, I wonder when I see how they are set up.  Where are the task-focussed activities that give some children such a sense of order and joy in completion?  Or in other schools–where is the play, the materials that offer a chance to discover and create?


Chaos muppets, order muppets or children with a little bit of both can figure it out at Chrysalis.  And it is such a joy to work with them on their path to discovery!

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