More than once I have come across this short verse which reminds me of the goals we set when working with parents in our 3,2,1, FUN! numeracy program. I haven’t been able to discover the source of these words, but you can find them everywhere if you search. I’d love to give credit to the right person if I ever do discover the origin.
“If you draw it for me,
cut it for me,
paste it for me. . .
All I learn is that
You do it better
This short verse describes so well the importance of the process behind the activity. We have to remember that it is not about the final product, especially with young children. If they have the opportunity to cut crooked lines, get glue all over things, and colour using every colour or only their favourites, they are learning! They discover their own creativity. They grow confidence in their abilities. They learn to try again if they fail to make it the way they pictured it. They feel pride in what they do achieve.
There is an abundance of great ideas and projects available. Many can be found in our family literacy app, Flit.* Just keep in mind that what you see as the final product should not necessarily be your goal for your children.
Give them the resources they need to create freely. See what they come up with on their own. Try to resist if you feel the need to take control of the project. Instead, you could create your own alongside your children. Don’t be disappointed if they created a bird with 3 legs when you were hopeful they would copy the Rainbow Fish with many scales that you were going for.
It is okay if your children lose interest in the activity you thought would be a grand idea. Put it aside. Perhaps they just are not ready for the concept involved, or maybe it is too close to lunch time and they can’t concentrate without a snack or meal first.
At 3,2,1, FUN! we come prepared to make projects and games that can be used and reused and recreated at home. Parents need to help with some things that the children can’t do yet, but we emphasize, “let your children pick the colours and the textures, and let them decide how much or how little to add.” This is the process of learning.
When we create a new game, we encourage children to come up with the rules, as silly as they may be. For instance, for a game that involves dice, a rule has been, “If you roll a 3 you need to hop on one foot 3 times.” Another rule has been, “this game must be played wearing pyjamas.” One of my favourites is, “the winner gets a hug!”
Supplies needed to play a random game at home based on your children’s rules are probably easily found at home, such as:
- Dice, any size, the bigger the better. Children love to use more of their body when rolling giant dice.
- Paper and markers. If you wish to record the rules of the day, you can write in your children’s words.
- The inside of a cereal box. If you’d like to create a board game look, have your children draw the shapes they’d like to mark the board and encourage them to mark the start and finish.
- Random household items. Use them as place markers on your board game.
- Think big! Why not use a giant piece of paper or cardboard to make a giant board game, where your family members are the place markers!
Please phone the Centre for Family Literacy in Edmonton at 780-421-7323 for more information about the 3,2,1,FUN! program, or visit our website www.famlit.ca
* Flit, our FREE family literacy app for activities to do with your 0-5 year-old. For more information or to download, visit the Apple App Store.