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Little by little it seems that Jack’s (4.11 yrs) interest in electricity is coming to its natural end; being replaced by a renewed interest in the human body. Questions are flying thick and fast over this way. He’s jumping from how our digestive system works; particularly how our stomach functions, back to skeletons, then back to our circulatory system. I’m trying my best to get down as many of his questions as I can so I can gather different materials for him to explore those questions more deeply.
The skeletal system isn’t particularly interesting to me. Besides remembering the names of different bones as well as the make up of bones (Jack was particularly excited to hear they had a jelly like substance inside them) , I don’t see too much more to do with it. But Jack and Sarah (2.11 yrs) think it’s pretty great and it’s their learning so…
Today we made a skeleton. And oh they turned out so very wonderfully. Jack and Sarah were both so focussed on this project. They sat almost in silence threading beads and bending wire. They worked right through morning tea and before we knew it it was lunch time! That has never happened before.
For the materials I put out a few different gauges of craft wire and a tray of beads. Beads are so versatile; they really can be used for so many different projects and explorations. Next time you’re at the thrift store, have a look at their jewellery for any interesting pieces you can pull apart for beads.
I also put out our model skeleton and the spine from our human torso for reference. For the trays, I like the wooden tray to compliment the colours of the beads and some smaller transparent trays for the beads Jack and Sarah were working with at that time. I think the transparent trays help to highlight the features of the individual beads whilst not drawing attention away from the main project.
I really can’t tell you how much I loved being a quiet observer to this whole process. All the careful investigation; including jointed legs, a clavicle (shoulders) to attach the arms, counting the vertebrae and adding the ribs; looking at the model skeleton back to his own, Jack would take little breaks from time to time, just resting in his chair thinking, before starting again.
Sarah created her own skeleton too; adding legs, arms and a head to her beaded spine and rock pelvis. Perfection.
Moments like these don’t always happen. We don’t always get it right. But oh when we do, when a provocation invites them in and engages them on a completely unexpected level; it is so very beautiful.