This morning, Kian started his day outside with a large tire and a clear vision: “I want to make a bicycle.” With help from Austin and Jack, constructing the bike from additional tires and a wood plank was fairly quick work. Adding the details took a bit more trial and error. First Kian added a head tube, then the boys tried several different types of tree branch before settling on appropriate handle bars and pedals. Kian did a skillful job of directing the work, but also listening carefully to Jack and Austin’s suggestions. All three showed strong negotiation and collaboration skills: actively listening, making suggestions, and asserting themselves in a respectful way. There was very little disagreement about the design, and this helped the process to go smoothly. Once the bicycle was built, there was some disagreement about how many people could ride it—all three boys recognized that the wooden beam may not support much weight, and as they discussed where to sit, Austin warned “Not in the middle, it could crack.” After testing the bike strength by climbing on one-by-one, they had a wild ride, singing and laughing—Kian steering while the others helped navigate. When monsters began to chase them, Austin hopped off and grabbed two hollow blocks to add boosters to the bike so they could speed away. When that didn’t work, he added jet packs. After some time, the bicycle exploded and they hopped off to play with friends in other areas.
Later in the morning, they came back to the bicycle. When they tried to ride it, they discovered the front wheel was collapsing, making the structure unstable. Charlie stepped in for a bit to help them change out the wheel, but it was more complicated than they had expected. Austin, Kian, and Jack tried several solutions including a smaller front wheel, a third wheel, and stones to prop up the front end. While they didn’t always agree about the proposed solution, they allowed space for each one, testing all of the suggested fixes to see what would work. This mutual respect, open-mindedness, and genuine curiosity—along with a shared goal—show what strong collaborators these children have become during their time together. In the end, they decided that it wasn’t necessary to add a third wheel after all, and they rode off to their next adventure.
by Lisa & Rachael
Pieces of Tucker Room experiences.