Written by Veronica Martin (ECE Coordinator)
At YCIS, in our ECE we believe that children can learn and develop many different skills through play. Here is an example of one of the activities K3 children took part in last week when the sun was out. Originally, the teachers had taken the children to play with soap bubble on our large outside art wall. The aim was for the children to enjoy themselves while experimenting with messy play outdoors. The teachers expected the children to talk about how it felt and the movement of the soap as it glides over the wall. Unexpectedly, a group of children decided to cover the whole wall in bubbles.
However, although in the classroom, the teachers had set up the same soap bubbles on the tables, where everything was within easy reach, it was not the same situation with the art wall outside, obviously very high if you are a 3 year-old!
Therefore, you could see children trying to jump to reach the highest part of the wall but it was of course not too successful. They then began to work together to find a solution to their challenge. They started to call the tallest child to see if he could reach, but it was also not successful. They did not give up and one of the children suggested the teachers could get a ladder from his daddy, as he uses it to get up high at home. This was a great suggestion however there was no ladder in sight. Another child brought a bike over and suggested that they stand on it. He offered to hold it while one of his friends stood on the seat so she could put the bubbles higher on the wall. Finally, the children were happy with how high they managed to place the bubbles.
Meanwhile, teachers were standing beside to ensure that the children worked through their problems in a safe way. Teachers make decisions to watch or to actively engage with the children’s play. By stepping back, we allow the children to make their own decisions and work through problems and find solutions that we may not have thought of. Through this experience, children had the opportunity to work together, build upon previous learning and communicate together and with each other.
YCIS strong believes that all children have the ability to develop multiple intelligences by providing an environment that allows children to be curious and tackle difficulties as they arise. By letting the children experiment with ideas and to change their working theory allows for a more meaningful learning experience.
Through ‘soap bubbles everywhere’, children had a lot of fun laughing, getting messy and exploring at the same time; in a nutshell learning while playing!