Wood and Wire Challenges
We've noticed whether it's a construction challenge, art journal challenge, or a challenge of some other kind, children are eager and determined when presented with the various "challenges" offered lately in KW. Today the children were presented with a few wire challenges. The children approached them like a fun game but really they were putting some of their cognitive and social understandings to the test. They had to make a mental plan for their actions, try/test it out, evaluate whether it worked, and problem-solve along the way. The group challenges added a social layer to the task at hand providing the need to communicate and problem solve with others as well as patiently take turns in some instances or find ways of working together at the same time to accomplish the goal. When it came to working with wood and wire, children also had to use their physical strength and coordination working with tools (ex. hammering nails) and their hands to manipulate materials in complex ways (ex. twisting wire.)
A few of the challenges presented today:
Meanwhile in the outdoor studio, we had a paint workshop. Children have been requesting for some time that we offer Bubble Printing again so we brought the fun outdoors along with exploring painting with a new and unusual tool: a squeegee!
Many colorful prints were made with the bubbles and children were presented with another challenge: try and layer a few or several colors on the same paper. When we first began and in the times we offered the activity in the past children were sometimes hesitant to layer the colors. A similar conflict of thinking came up during yesterday’s art journal game when some did not want to add more than one “step” to a page. We’ve been encouraging children outside of their comfort zone with this to give layering a try in times that sometimes seem strange as the unknown result can leave us feeling unsure. As seen today, children (and adults too!) are often pleasantly surprised what can happen as we embrace the process in exploring materials and expression through the arts. Today, Lou Lou, who had started out with one print per page, decided to take on the challenge. Before long she was layering several or all of the colors and explaining, “Look! Look at this!!” She appeared thrilled with the layers of colors and the ways the print changed over multiple steps.
Other big-hits today were playing with Shelly’s House in the outdoor classroom, imitation-reading books together, challenge bodies in bib-body climbing/hanging/flipping/swinging, and play with water and sand. What a fabulous Outdoor Day we had together!!
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