I am not quite sure how it started, like with most of Jack’s (4.5 yrs) interests, I seem to miss the initial wonderings, those first few questions that start to unfold during his play, but he has been interested in houses and architecture for a little while now.
Jack’s investigation of houses has seen us explore design and architecture, he’s created countless cardboard models of houses, made playdough representations, created mixed media art, built with blocks and filled sketch books with increasingly detailed drawings.
Inspired by their size, he shifted focus to skyscrapers, being particularly intrigued by the symmetry of the windows and the different architectural features. Sketch books in hand, we took trips around Canberra looking at some of our most interesting buildings.
This then led us to explore world landmarks; starting with the Burj Al Arab in Dubai (from a drawing session using this graphic) and moving around the globe, learning about different countries and types of buildings as we went.
Jack then doubled-back to houses, as he often does, and so we have arrived here, today, exploring electricity. Not how it works but rather how it travels to people’s houses; an interesting bend in this long-standing investigation.
With air-dry clay, modelling tools, some wire, and a mix of beautiful and inviting materials, Jack and Sarah created. First manipulating, then making representations.
And as he created he talked; talked through his questions, explained each piece as his power lines took shape and considered carefully how each piece would be placed. Jack tested different ways to bring the piece together, each time sitting back in his chair, concentration tongue out, before moving forward again to continue working.
Two power lines were added and then a third. He stopped, a perplexed look on his face,
“I think it’s done…but…I need to have another look.”
Jack stood up from his chair, walked to the back of our yard and looked up at the power pole.
“It has four cables Mummy!” “And another black one hanging!”
He called back to me. He added a fourth power line and a piece of twine.
“There. That’s good.”
While his power lines dried Jack drew. We talked about how electricity makes its way to our homes, starting at the Power Plant, moving along the pylons to the transformers, down to underground cables and along power lines to our homes.
I have prepared, anticipated where Jack might take this next. I think he will want to make some more models, probably with different materials… and possibly be interested in taking a walk down to the substation down the road. But these are just anticipations, I’ll have to wait and see what he wants to do.