Welcome to the May Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival, ‘Kids and Learning.’
The Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival hosted by [email protected] is for anyone, because we are all teachers and learners. This month our bloggers have come up with some wonderful suggestions for fun things to do with your kids, ways to help them learn and thoughts on what learning is. Please read to the end to find links to other blogs, you might find a wonderful new blog to follow.
I am easily excited by all the fabulous fancy art and craft projects there are out there on thousands of fabulous blogs. I am dazzled by the thought of making x or creating y with my kids. So dazzled that I often forget the joy of simply creating. My kids don’t forget though, especially the Small Boy.
For little people (I’m talking mostly under fours here but this is relevant to older kids too) art is about the process of exploring, experimenting and creating for the sake of creating. It is not about a finished product. This idea of ‘process not product’ is important, very important.
What it means is that as an adult, and a parent, we need to give up the idea of a master piece to hang on the fridge, because when you are two, the end product is usually not your top priority.
A little person’s priority is to get in there and paint. To see what the colours look like on the paper, to mix them together until they are a muddy greyish brown. To feel the paint on their hands and see how they can use their fingers to make marks on the paper. To paint up their arms, on their faces and in their hair. To smell the paint and maybe even to taste it. To paint and paint until there is a soggy hole in the middle of the paper. Then to paint and paint and paint some more… and then start all over again.
All that might seem like just ‘making a mess’ to us stagnant, un-fun adults, but it’s not. It’s an amazing learning process happening before our very eyes. It’s learning about colours and cause and effect and practising large and small muscle skills and exploring concepts of mixing and change, and all kinds of other important stuff.
So what do you do when you let go of expecting that master piece and you stop trawling the blogs for fabulous yet product oriented art activities for your little people?
You get back to basics.
You let go of expectations.
You get out good quality, age appropriate, simple, art materials and you create.
You enjoy the process right along side your little person.
Draw until you have used every coloured crayon in the box and the paper is almost entirely coloured.
Paint with your fingers and mix all the colours together, enjoying how it feels as well as how it looks.
Glue and glue and glue some more scraps of paper onto your page, layer upon layer upon layer.
Create patterns and colours and shapes.
Live in the moment.
Create in the moment
There is plenty of time to make that nifty thing another day or try that ace idea next week… for today, just let go and create!
Visit [email protected] if you are interested in participating in next month’s Teach/Learn carnival. Please take the time to visit the other participants and see what they have to say:
- 5 Places to Teach the 5 Senses – Monique at Your Cheeky Monkey has some great suggestions for places to go and use all five senses when playing with your kids. (@Y_C_Monkey)
- Don’t look now, but… you’re being watched – Sarah from Untenured Teacher is asking about what we really want kids to learn in the classroom, and how are we unconsciously teaching them?
- Make Your Own Abacus – Staci at Teaching Money to Kids has an amazing activity to make your own abacus, which you can eat when you’ve finished.
- Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival – Kids and Learning – Marita from Stuff With Thing and her daughter have been travelling around the city in different ways and working out how to walk to Queensland. (@leechbabe)
- How to Study Like a Black Belt – The Original SuperParent can tell you how to study like a black belt, with great tips for focusing and getting the most out of your learning. (@superparents_au)
- Learning is a Journey – Deb at [email protected] invites you think of learning in a different way and join your children on their journey. (@ScienceMum)
- Art for little kids – Katepickle at Picklebums encourages us to let go of our adult expectations and just enjoy the creative process with our small children. (@katepickle)
- Learning As We Walk – The Planning Queen walks to school with you and learns all sorts of things on the way. (@PlanningQueen)
- B-I-N-G-O is the name of the game – AmandaB from HomeAge shows her own learning in action – the maths game didn’t quite work, but she’s worked out how to modify it for next time.
- What’s In a Reflection – Miss Carly at Early Childhood Resources has a beautiful story about babies learning all the time, even when they are only a few months old. (@ECresources)
- Developing Brains: Laying the Pathways to Learning – Christie from Childhood 101 talks about the importance of sensory learning for early brain development and has lots of ideas for play that engages the five senses. (@Childhood101)
- The Magical Threshold Of School-Age – Mamapoekie at Authentic Parenting wonders why we have a point that we call school age and how children are not ready one day but ready the next. (@mamapoekie)
- Why you should help your child follow their passions – CatWay at Adventures with Kids helps her son learn about dinosaurs. (@adventureskids)
Thanks for joining us! We hope to see you next month.