Last year I was teaching 2-and-3-year-olds, and my co-teacher and I were looking for activities that would encourage teamwork and cooperation. We played Back to Back and some other great games at circle time, but we wanted something a little more open-ended. And then I thought to set up a hair salon.
I went to Walgreen’s and got a collection of assorted combs—big, small, wide teeth, close teeth, handle, no handle, different colors—for like $7. I set up some standing mirrors on the table, and simply mentioned that the kids could fix each other’s hair, and they were off!
Okay, some of them only wanted to comb their own hair, and some of them weren’t interested at all. But some of the kids took turns combing each other’s hair, and it was amazing. They were so careful and loving and patient with each other—it was like they were grooming small delicate animals. There were even some teams of three that traded off with each other. Yes, both boys and girls.
And before you say it, I had a little jar of rubbing alcohol that I would dip the combs in after each use, so as not to spread germs, or the dreaded L-word.
It wasn’t perfect, and it wasn’t for everyone. But for the kids who were into it, it was great.