Picture your children problem solving without adult interaction. Adults should be supervising at all times, but too often I observe adults directing too much of their children’s play and learning activities. Too often adults jump in to help children problem solve how to play the game, manipulate the materials, create their craft, solve conflicts with peers … Peers need time to solve their conflicts, children need time to interact with others and objects without guidance. Instead of removing obstacles from their paths, adults can model problem solving skills that they see arise by re-creating such obstacles they observe. Instead of avoiding activities that can create conflict, chaos and mess I suggest planning those activities with intent for teachable moments.
Mi Families teaches parents, providers and children through various programs, including Adventure Academy. Adventure Academy is our multi-age childcare and tutoring program where I schedule “teachable moments” in the lesson plans that go beyond core curriculum subjects. We work on our core curriculum, but also make time for open ended exploration indoors and outside. One curriculum that is helpful at providing open ended exploration is Mother Goose Time. This Month we are learning about bugs. We are are reading and writing about bugs, we are using bugs for math, social studies and science … we are using bugs to teach being gentle to all creatures and how to not fear all creatures…
Bugs are providing many opportunities for teachable moments and problem solving. The pictures posted showcase some of the activities we have been doing, but it can’t show the observations overhead of a child problem solving. It can’t record peers working together problem solving or discussing their new scientific findings. It does show that the kids have been busy learning through play and hands on learning adventures. It does show that the kids have been enjoying the month of May. As we near June I am starting to prepare for our summer programs. Note our summer schedule starts Memorial week and goes through Labor day week.
We have limited part time spaces remaining in our summer program if you know a child who’d like to enroll at Adventure Academy. This summer we’ll be hosting mini camps and tutor time sessions. Email Christi@MiFamilies if you’d like more information about Adventure Academy or about other Mi Families programs. Mi Families provides education through recreation for families and those who work with families across Michigan. Learn more about our FUNctional resources at www.MiFamilies.com or by following us on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc… We’re reaching out with resources beyond Michigan with the help of social media. Looking for specific resources or hoping we cover specific topics in our articles? Comment below!