Thursday, 2 May 2013

X is for eXperimenting!





                    Ok, so I have cheated with the "X" but experimenting is all part of learning



Experimenting. It is how we learn things for ourselves. It is all about the trial and error and working out how things work. When you are a child, it is great fun too!

This is where free play comes into it's own. Many parents are lost as to why free play is so beneficial, but exploration and experimenting comes into a child's freeplay all of the time! It is often the small things which they discover that really make an impact.......such as finding out that dirt does not taste nice or that heavy things sink in water!!

In order for children to experiment, we need to allow them the opportunities to do so. It is also about teaching them that sometimes experiments do not always go to plan, and that this is not always such a bad thing! In fact, many activities that go wrong can lead to children taking over and trying things for themselves, therefore meaning they are using their knowledge and understanding of the world to further explore the items around them. Here is a great post about such a time where this occurred http://www.letthechildrenplay.net/2012/03/its-not-mistake-its-experiment.html

Experimenting is also about learning how to take and manage risk. With the help of a supervising adult, children can explore and try out ideas. The adult does play a very important role here, by taking the children's experiments to higher levels by asking questions about what they think may happen or what they plan to do next.

Everyday, children experiment. Whether it be experimenting with language trying out new words, or experimenting socially by trying to interact with new people, or even experimenting with their toys and how they work! Just take a sit back and have a look at a child playing and see how they experiment with new ideas!

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