And here we are again: ramps, round #2! This time, children are building them from recycled materials! Remember the old days when you gave your child a much anticipated toy that came in a box bigger than him/her? It was “just” a box but you spent more time “convincing” your child that its content was more interesting than the “plain” box… Click on “Read the rest of this entry…” below to read more about this:
Children are born with a built-in gift: they are curious and inquisitive (OK, that’s two!). This natural gift comes in handy when they have a goal and want to reach it “no matter what.” And they constantly incorporate curiosity into their learning! That’s because curiosity of playful – an endless game of ‘peek-a-boo.’
By approaching ramps from multiple entry points, children are learning about developing creative perspectives about something that interests them. In addition, they are also learning a tremendous lesson: to solve problems. Through trial and error, or reassessing original plans when the current ones don’t align with their original goals, they are learning about how flexible they need to be to solve problems. They are also learning about the advantages of “pruning away” what they don’t need and filing it away for later access – especially if this process involves archiving information about what doesn’t work.
This practice transfers into others areas as they grow and develop, especially as they emerge into literacy. They become experts at improvising and developing quite complex cognitive skills that help them answer their own questions when solving their own problems. They are engaging in active learning! They start reaching inside themselves and as they do that, they also become more confident at collaborating with others, sharing ideas that will impact a bigger, collective idea, or simply taking advantage of the many different ways of solving mysteries. And let’s remember to look for opportunities to acknowledge how it takes control of impulses to keep going sometimes!
This ends Part 2. For more about ramps visit Parts 1 and 3 in this three-part series.
Set-Up for Episode #14:
(This is just a suggestion list to start turning your gears for what might work for your children):
- As many recycled boxes as you may have around the house
Paper towel, or toilet paper tubes are a great way to start – though the latter has raised some health concerns in some schools. The truth is: anything will do in children’s hands!
As you saw in this video, the child ran into several building design issues and having “extras” to use as foundation support was crucial. Keep collecting recycled materials for as long as you can. You never know when your child might need them!
Keep this going for as long as they are interested and invested. Change materials, shapes and sizes. The process is more important and beneficial to our children’s ability to grow with these rich learning experiences.
Maybe keep a journal with records of what works and what doesn’t work. Test your ramps inside and outside, too. Enjoy!
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