A personal blog sharing experience, reflections and inspiration about education, in particular early childhood education, listening, democratic learning and introducing the idea of Original Learning.
I have found this post last weekend. I have thought a bit during the weekend and at the beginning of this weeke I have tried to adjust the enviorment in my class, I have taken away some toys, some forniture, and left a "base", some constructions, some other things like cars, animals, etc and more I have decided to change toys every two days. I have to say that the children has played better than usual, more focused on their action/doing. I don't know if it is right or not (I think 50-50), but my personal experience says that if I have too many things around me, I get just stressed and confused, I don't know what to do, I try everything or nothing, I get frustrated. Instead if I have few things around me I get more creative and calm, enjoying more my time. But sometimes, just sometime, it is also good to have a lot of things around...just sometimes. I think that I will try this way for some weeks again and see the results.
it will be interesting to see how this will affect the children... will it influence their play in anyway... or will it allow THEIR play to be more visible... giving time and space for their own imaginations?Once, a long time ago, when I was working with 7-8 year olds we had a day where I said the children were only to play with each other and the furntiture... none of the toys.... the children sat on the sofa, where we had the meeting at the start of the session and just sat there in silence for 10-20 minutes until one child decided that the table could be like a den and wnet over to try it... two children followed... and within five minutes all 24 children were engaged in play... by the end of the 3 hour session they were all happy and telling their parents how they had had the best day ever...I have also seen that when we played on the square outside the preschool, when there was nothing there but the children, that the play was always socially rich, and they never had a problem filling their time...
I am not surprised. I can tell two experiences. When I was child for different reasons, mostly educative reasons, I didn't have many toys to play with. I had Lego, some small cars, one ball, and few other things that almost I didn't look at. But ( I was around 7-8 years old) I had a two things that my friends had not, one swiss multi knives (you know, the red one of Victorinox, a must in my family), and a garden, where I could find all what I needed. I stayed hours and hours to built and create my own world, with things that I found around me. The shelves in my bedroom were more to keep my creation more to keep boxes of toys. Second experience, when I was in Bergamo to work as psychomotor educator, I had a big room, kind of 15m x 10m, in this room for therapy there were a big mirror, some hooks on walls and ceiling where I could hand things like covers, threads, etc, gym mattresses, and other objects like sticks, balls, textiles, etc...Everything was inside boxes at one side of the room. The child/ren that come inside had a big/empty room, like a white paper. It was so amazing to see how the child/ren after a moment where thought what to do, started to play. Which wonderfull worlds come out from their minds... Now in my class is 8 days of this new system...and is going very good.