Ed arrives in the Den room carrying, or rather dragging a large heavy box that has been lurking in the staff room for several days. Like Meercats little heads pop up from the home corner, craft area and various hidy holes within the Den room to ask the question, "What's that Ed?" Ed replied, "It's a new piece of equipment." As the pieces came out of the box children looked at them closely. Recognising the shapes a child eagerly announced, "It's a trolley!" Ed nodded, "You're absolutely right." going on to explain that the old trolley which the children had been given rides in was broken. In chorus the children asked, "Can we help you Ed?" And with that a flat pack master class was born!
Children were seen learning through their senses, touching and manipulating the pieces with Ed desperately tring to keep track of them all. As children took parts from every angle many questions were asked, What's this? Where does this go? Can I use that? With their thought processes in over-drive the children were eager to help. Ed described the piece he needed and the children organised them. "Is this it?" waving metal parts in Ed's direction. With a few near misses Ed avoided being concussed and helped children take turns to use the ratchet screwdriver to fix the pieces together. Some turning the handle all the way around and some finding the ratchet motion and delighting in it's mechanical sound. In the usual way of flat pack work the instructions were tossed aside where one or two children found them and looked at the images and words. Many were seen handling tiny screws and washers, looking closely at them to see how they work, fixing and joining larger metal pieces together to complete the trolley.
Is it just a trolley? Well some of our children showed interest by tapping the metal parts on the hard wooden floor creating metallic sounds, feeling the vibration in their hands as they did so, hearing the loud clang and repeating their actions and sharing experiences. Others added a dinosaur or two to the hive of activity, and with Ed narrowly avoiding a banana related injury... I'm sure Nick Knowles doesn't have these distractions on the big build to contend with the task was complete! Alas it's a vehicle. To the tune of, "Me, me!" Ed is lost in a sea of excitable children wanting to have a ride in the trolley after .
And what about the box? Yes the most important part of all became a secret hiding place.
With this activity our children had the opportunity to use all of their senses...yes taste was one of them! Touching, handling, listening all stimulated the brains process, asking questions, problem solving, noticing similarities and differences, a learning process where children are more likely to remember than if Ed had asked them merely to watch.