Craft sticks come in handy for so many fun projects! Using them in the below provocation was nice to see, because I never know how a child will respond to a provocation. I set up a piece of cloth to place the craft sticks onto and set out some fairies to catch the eye. Then I waited to see if this was something that would be of interest or not.
Sure enough my little student took to this right away! The sticks were lined up and blocks were added along with a wide door. Yes, if you were thinking, garage, you are right! The fairies were moved up and out of the way because a moving tool car was headed inside! We discovered that the rode was not stable and did move quite a bit, however, a moving road gave my student information about surfaces. Roads should not jiggle and move about when a car is driving on top of them. So the first words I heard were, “it’s not working!”. We then had a discussion about why the road was moving and how we could make the road more stable. We also discovered that with a little extra care, the tool car could drive on the road. There had to be some acceptance that he road would move some.
Children should be allowed to experiment in ways that are designed for discoveries. This child is learning about gravity, stability, and movement through play. Yes, this started out as a simple provocation I set up to see what this child would do. And I was happy to see my provocation gave way for a more complex form of play. I must also say that it would not have mattered to me if this child had not been inspired by this provocation. Provocations are not meant to be things that a child has to engage in, they are set up to inspire and catch the attention of children with interests along the lines of the provocation topic. This child has many different interests and all are equally important in the learning journey. The school is set up and designed specifically for learning.
The power of play in quality programs makes a huge impact on kindergarten and school readiness.
We do not need direct instruction and worksheets in early childhood learning environments in order for young children to learn and be ready for kindergarten. We need learning environments that enable young children to do what they do naturally and developmentally, that is to have curiosity and be able to test their ideas. Curiosity, questions, hands on ways to apply ideas, discoveries and integration of different content areas are all a natural and developmentally appropriate way for young minds to form strong foundations for all future brain development.
Heidi Scott, BA & MIT
The Marigold School of Early Learning