Raised flat surfaces offer endless possibilities. Children gravitate towards things they can make their own and an empty horizontal plane can be as attractive to a child as a blank canvas is to an artist.
With a little "provocation" (a term used in Reggio Emilia-inspired schools) or “scene setting,” children will quickly immerse themselves in focused play. Make sure your child’s experience is complete with these 5 essential tips.
5 Essential Tips
The 5 Ws are a basic step of information-gathering taught to students at a young age and practiced by researchers, writers, scientists and even parents. The questions work together to collect information and fill information gaps. Ask the question and listen to your children’s answer. If they struggle, ask a deeper or related question.
If your child is setting a table, perhaps ask: “Who are you inviting to this table?” Deeper question: “Who do you usually have at your table for special meals – such as birthdays or holidays -- or when you're at school?”
If your child is working with building blocks, perhaps ask: “What are you building?” Deeper question: “Is this structure part of a community? What other buildings exist or still need to be built?”
If your child is planning a magic show, ask “When will the show start?” Deeper question: Ask your child to time each trick and share their thoughts about when each individual trick starts. This will teach your child critical project management skills.
If your child is mapping out a town using paper and pencils or matchbox cars and toy buildings, ask your child: “Where do you live and where are other important buildings.” Deeper question: “Where is your source of energy and water?” Help your child become their own civic engineer!
If your child is mixing a cake, try asking: “Why did you include these ingredients?” Deeper question: “What does each of these ingredients do to help make the cake?”