When children engage in child initiated activities, the results can be fantastic! Child initiated learning occurs which is extremely effective.
Yesterday, I absolutely loved watching my two young men develop an child initiated learning activity which they thought was so much fun.
All I had to do was stand back and watch the learning and fun unfold. It was marvellous!
Perhaps I should explain. After months of having no rain, the last few days have brought a number of thunderstorms. Yesterday was no exception.
When the boys heard the storm approaching, they decided it was time to collect some water. Before I knew it, our front yard had been transformed into a rain catching area with every possible container spread out.
I have no idea what the neighbours thought ... probably that we're all crazy ... which may just be true! :o
They had all sorts of containers of varying sizes and shapes.
Then it was time to watch the storm approaching via radar on the internet. How marvellous is the internet for expanding knowledge and understanding!
There was a mad, excited dash, in and outside of the house, to observe the clouds, check the wind and temperature, watch and rearrange containers, re-check the radar screen.
By the way, I was strictly instructed, by my oldest son, that I wasn't allowed to turn this activity into school work! I had to giggle. He obviously knows me too well! But more than that, they were already doing 'school work' (otherwise known as 'experimenting, discovering and learning') and were having fun!
Once the storm past, there was another concentrated effort of pouring and measuring the water to see how much they'd collected.
Honestly, if I'd tried to plan and implement this activity, I seriously doubt that it would have been as effective as the activity they had organised. Why? Because this activity was initiated by them, owned by them and implemented by them. In a nutshell, it was their inspiration and their motivation which made the activity so extraordinary.
What's better, I didn't have to ask them once to do anything. All I did was point out a large container with measurement markings on the side but even then, they took it from there.
This activity truly reminded me that when children initiate an activity, they are more:
- involved in their own learning and developing
- likely to retain information
- eager to participate
- engaged for longer periods of time
This is why child initiated learning is so effective!
Now if only this would happen regularly! Or maybe I just need to work out more ways of providing opportunities for it to happen! :o)
By the way, want to know how much water they collected? 2.5 litres in total.
The next time it rains, the boys want to put out a large tarp to see if they can collect more!
What sort of child initiated activities have your children engaged in lately? I love to hear about your adventures. Feel free to leave a comment on this post or on our facebook page.
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