Thursday, May 7, 2015

Mix It Up

Things in our church kindergarten class are pretty "loose." By that I do not mean that kids can do whatever they want, whenever they want, however they want, with no boundaries or respect for others.

What I do mean is that kids can explore their own ideas and try new things, things that I may not have expected but will encourage.

Craft Stick Puppet Stage

Recently we mixed up our class arrangement. We used a table on its side for a puppet stage, so the other things in the room were changed around a little. A table that usually spends time in the middle of the room (the twin of the puppet stage table) went to a wall. And our blocks, usually along that wall, came to the middle of the room.

This group of kids we have seem to love something new. It doesn't matter what that thing is (usually) as long as it's new.

Making Craft Stick Puppets

Our puppet area definitely gained some attention. I had some pictures on sticks along with paper, scissors, markers, tape, and sticks for them to make their own puppets, too.

A few kids experimented with this new idea. They used the stage sparingly and then moved on.

Craft Stick Puppets

Craft Stick Puppets

Craft Stick Puppets

A little later, a couple of boys decided to try and balance the foam cubes from the blocks area on the puppet stage table. I think at first it was just a balancing experiment, but then they began to really enjoy the process.

Puppet Stage Castle

Then the blocks on the puppet stage became a castle. Puppets were retrieved; others were made. And the activity took on a whole new life.

I love it when kids can mix it up. They took something from one place and remixed it into another space to create an idea that no one had before. (Well, at least in our classroom at that moment, no one had it.)

Craft Stick Puppets

Allowing things to travel is an important part of the classroom environment. Everything doesn't move to a new space every week. And if it seems like we're just making a mess, things move back to their "home base." But allowing some exploration and movement of materials can yield some great results.

Even a castle on a table's edge.

Puppet Stage Castle

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