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Seeing Children's Ideas

by Deb Curtis
July/August 2012
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/seeing-childrens-ideas/5020634/

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities. In the expert’s there are few.”
Suzuki Roshi

We offered our group of toddlers, long, colorful, translucent tubes to enjoy and explore. As always, they amazed us with the many ideas they used to investigate and learn with them. The tubes are long and the children marveled at how they could easily lift these objects up taller than their bodies. The tubes also afforded them more reach as they eagerly stretched toward the sky and touched the highest boughs of the trees. The children discovered that the tubes are great for making sounds, both by singing into them and pounding them on the ground where they ring out a loud gong. They carried armloads of tubes around the yard, rolled them down the hill and slide, stuck them in the sand, and played peek-a-boo together; looking through the long hole as well as transforming the world with color. At the center of the children’s explorations was their pleasure in ­sharing ideas.

I continually use the word ‘idea’ and talk about its meaning with my group of 18- to 28-month-olds. When I observe them closely I see that formulating and exploring ideas is central to these ...

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