For my second YDEV event I went to the Children’s Museum On December 1st to their Tunnel Works Event that was held from 10 AM – 3 PM. When I arrived around noon I witnessed many children creating tunnels with several different materials. I was impressed to see how detailed some of the children’s tunnels were, spanning several feet, and moving in all different directions. When children were done constructing their tunnels, they were given a marble to see if they could get it to travel from the beginning of the tunnel, to the end.
What I noticed more than the great constructions the children were making, was the great teamwork that was being shared amongst the children. For those who finished their tunnels quickly, they then went back and helped those who were struggling. They helped in ways in such that they were holding pieces of material together while another child taped them together. Or they suggested ideas of the direction the tunnels should go. What I found to be interesting about this was that the helpfulness and teamwork that was present was not encouraged or suggested by adult figures, but rather the children took it upon themselves to go back and help.
Why I think this activity was so successful was because children were not given rules to follow, instead they were simply given materials and it was up to them to create what would work or not work.
I stumbled upon this even while planning a vacation camp for my internship at the Lincoln School. For the week long camp that will be offered at the Lincoln School, there is a different themed camp day for each day. One of them is themed science. One idea that was brought up during our planning time was having the children create a feeder for the classroom bunny. The purpose of this feeder was to be able to get the food from one side of the classroom to the bunny on the opposite side of the classroom using various materials.
Not only did this event at the children’s museum inspire much of what activities will be held on that camp day, but it also set the guidelines of letting the children set their own rules. It reminded myself that the children are the inventors, and that I am simply a scaffold of support. I am very excited to see what the children create and will be uploading pictures once it is completed!
The following Link has some great similar ideas! I just ordered the book off of Amazon to add to my collection!