The Creative Chaos
Unexpected changes will always be issues in our children’s futures and will require the need to be flexible and creative in order to find immediate, effective and efficient solutions.
Therefore, how can children learn to own problems and create solutions by themselves?
By starting with something I call “The Creative Chaos”.
On one hand we need well organised, safe, and inspiring environments in our preschools and on the other, we need to prepare our students to be able to organise their own environments by themselves.
The Situation: 40 students without anywhere to hang coats and bags, and nowhere to put their shoes.
You can imagine what this means: coats, bags, and shoes all over the place. It is a mess for my team and their little preschool students. They all complain about the mess because no one can find their belongings easily. Items can be misplaced or become a trip hazard. This presents a perfect opportunity for a Creative Chaos Project.
It doesn’t take long before someone asks: "Can we have hooks for our coats and bags and shelves for our shoes?"
And the answer is:
"YES you can! Let me know where and how you want to have your coats and bags hung up and shoes stored, and I will assist you with the materials and assembly."
A period of research with an amazing learning opportunity begins:
- Where is the best place for shoes and hooks?
- Does each classroom need their own place? How wide should the shoe shelf be?
- How many hooks do we need for bags and coats?
- What shall the area look like?
- Where can we find the raw materials?
- Can we recycle equipment which we already have in school?
- Who will help with the construction/assembly?
Lots of drawings of designs made by the students will be collected and evaluated until the final design is chosen.
The location, style, and shape of the design, quantity of hooks, length, width, and height of the shoe shelf, and different measurements for younger and older students are all considered.
Do we need to go shopping?
If YES, organise a shopping trip with the students to a local DIY/Home Improvements store.
Do we need the skills of a skilled tradesman for example a carpenter?
If YES, invite one to your setting for the students to be able to observe.
Once the construction/assembly begins, make sure all risk assessments are undertaken, health and safety precautions are taken care of, and all the students are adequately supervised at all times.
With an electric screwdriver, even young students can work a screw into wood!
Once the coat racks/hooks and shoe shelves are installed, the project deserves an opening party.
The Creative Chaos has inspired the students to organise their environment using their own design and problem-solving skills, and this great success has to be celebrated!
By Regina Kruse-Özçelik