Saturday, 13 July 2013

Tinkering - part one......

This was a first for my husband and I to give the time and the trust to our children to use real tools with VERY little supervision ... yes they have had access to them before, and yes they have been allowed to be creative before... but this was a serious attempt to take another step back...

Was it easy?

Absolutely not!

Of course John and I have lots of experience (John has much more than me when it comes to woodwork) and sharing experience comes naturally to both of us... but this time we were only to share if we were asked, and then to try and phrase everything in questions so that our children had the opportunity to work it out for themselves...

John and I laughed at each other a great deal - holding our hands behind our backs, starting sentences and catching ourselves in time... or discovering one of us has started to share ideas... its a learning process for us too . For me, using wood, I am learning as much as the children - I never got to do woodwork as a child - I went to an all girls school and it just wasn't offered (it did go co-ed in my last 2 years of secondary school but by then I had already selected my o-levels (yes that is how old I am - one of the last to do o-levels - and they have nothing to do with owls!!!!) - so I never got to use the newly constructed wood and metalwork studios)...
anyway back to the story...
yes I am learning just as much as the children, but over the years I have learned other things which let's me apply knowledge to the wood - and even though I was itching to test it out - I made the effort to take a back step and let the children test out their ideas... not easy at all when you can see them making mistakes... but John and I had decided, as long as it was not going to seriously injure or damage the equipment then we were going to let them make their own mistakes... as I said easier said then done.

Three children also means conflicts... they were not always united on the plan, who was using what tool when and what was the best method and why... the aim was to build a bug hotel...
but we let them try and work the conflicts out themselves too - all part of the tinkering process...

When conflicts got into a negative spiral I suggested that Michael should come and see if he could find some pine cones to fill the bug hotel rooms with... this gave him not only the chance to cool down, to collect his thoughts, to feel useful - but also time to reflect on what he wanted to do and how he could achieve that - so that when we got back he was ready to be an active and creative part of the process again...

The day was hot so we tinkered for an hour or so before the call of the lake was too loud... the tinkering is now on hold... next week I will be in Boulder, Colorado, the girls will be with my in-laws visiting a zoo here in Sweden and John and Michael are off to Denmark to visit the new BIG aquarium in Copenhagen... a first time we are all in different places!

I am hoping that they will have a little tinker when I am gone, as I will be gone for a week while they are just away for 2 nights... if not we will resume when I get back...

at first all three were content just fiddling with the tools a little

getting the feel of things


then they got down to business...
cone collections were inspected and there was great joy at the sheer volume of small  small mini-bugs already living in them... the bug hotel was sure to be a success.
learning to use the drill

and what happens if the drill is not long enough...

a chance to work on parallel projects

and work together as a team...

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