Friday, March 30, 2012

Blocks - Easter Style

Something quite extraordinary happened today, but then that isn't really that extraordinary in my world.

After we had an egg hunt with some little plastic eggs we returned inside where the children chose to build with the table top blocks. As I was packing the eggs away I figured it might be interesting to add them to the blocks and see what happens.

Initially the children simply pulled them apart and put them back together, mixing up the colours, but engaging with them separately to the blocks.

But it didn't take long for them to combine the two materials and they did this in a multitude of ways. Placing halves on top as kind of domes. Balancing whole eggs on top which required quite a bit of trial and error to get the positioning right.

What was even more amazing was the collaboration and communication that was going on. One conversation between two boys in particular caught my attention. A short argument over who should have a certain block ended quickly when one of them offered, "Why don't we work together and build a big house?" The response, "That's a great idea!" It then continued thustly. "We could put the eggs inside and they could be the people." "Yeah, but we need a dog too."

There was also one girl who made a fantastic discovery. By placing one half on each end of a cylinder it became something completely different - a rolling toy. She was so excited she wanted to demonstrate it to the others.

During that demonstration one end of one of her new toys came off, causing it to turn sharply instead of roll in a straight line. Quite by accident she had discovered the difference between symmetrical objects and asymmetrical.

A simple Easter linked experience turned into so much more. Children constantly remind us that the boundaries of their learning mainly occur in OUR minds, the educators and parents.

1 comment:

  1. This post reminds me of this Piaget quote “Every time we teach a child something, we keep him from inventing it himself. On the other hand, that which we allow him to discover for himself will remain with him visible for the rest of his life.”