We are lucky here at SHED Children’s Campus to be able to enjoy a profession centered around children.
We are able to interact with these little people with amazing minds. Their laughter, energy, curiosities and imagination are things that drive our day. What can we learn from observing their play, listening to their questions & conversations and engaging in their wonder?
This observation of children and their play helps us plan and implement curriculum.
Sometimes we need to also dabble with our own curiosities. We need time to play, explore & experience things like children.
The Kid’s Club after school staff was able to take part in a training that gave them a chance to explore provocations – invitations to explore & express themselves.
The training was set up with different stations/provocations:
- a basket of sticks & twine
- an overhead projector with architecture transparencies & blocks
- loose parts and designs & shapes on paper
- balancing rocks
- rolling pins with different textures, paint & paper
- a book on faces, mirrors & loose parts
There was no set direction – just play & explore. Consider how children might explore these materials. What might these provocations invite children to create? What can we learn from children taking part in provocations.
We observed teachers gathering at stations with friends, searching out an activity that interested them. Some teachers dove right in – some walked around & got the lay of the land first. Some teachers used the materials in the ways they were laid out. Some teachers tried out different methods & approaches – sometimes even combining stations.
It seems the teachers engaged with the materials in the same way we observe children engaged with materials. Everyone enjoys and seeks out time with friends. Everyone needs time to play. Everyone deserves time to express themselves creatively.
In these moments of observation, we learn about the children – we learn about ourselves.