Many of us remember Pete Kaser, the Preschool teacher in Ohio who took all of his student’s toys away.
Now, this would typically be a bad move and result in a lot of grumpy kiddos, but Kaser was onto something as he replaced a room full of toys with boxes, egg cartons, and raw materials. The results were amazing. When toys with “preassigned value” were removed, children’s imaginations were unleashed to create wonderful and unique play experiences.
The Maker Movement began as a catch-all description of Independent Inventors, Tinkerers, Designers, and Artisans. It conjured up images of out-of-the-box thinkers and creative types. As it has evolved, it has seeped into education as a highly valuable approach to facilitating learning through play.
“When kids play and make things,” responded Steve Davee with the Maker Education Initiative, “when they are put in charge of what they build and make, wonderful things happen: personalities, relationships and abilities are forged. I never get tired of seeing it.”
At Creative World Schools, we are passionate about cultivating independent learners by creating inspiring and open-ended experiences for children. Our Exploratorium, a space designed for this kind of play, is full of materials and stations that take the lid off of what children can know or do. It is a forum for truly free exploration. Children know how to learn… they just need to be inspired to do it! So, we let them tinker and invent and re-imagine new possibilities. We never get tired of seeing their discoveries, either.