The world through a child’s eyes
We, adults, often assume that we know how everything has to be and what is important. However, sometimes giving in to children’s ideas can create a wonderful experience, unexpected revelations, and, most importantly, can better a child’s self-esteem and develops their ability to formulate their opinion and make decisions.
There are incredibly simple and easily doable ideas, that can let children be in charge of the day or a certain activity and give them a sense of freedom. Moreover, adults shouldn’t worry about it, because moms, dads, teachers, and other adults, who are with children, can dictate certain rules in which children can lead their activities. Also, there already is the “normal” daily routine, that has been created for a child and they will use it as the basis for their activities.
Not too long ago in Great Britain, a museum played out an experiment whose result was to make their exhibitions more child friendly. All five-year-olds who came to the museum, they gave disposable cameras and asked to take photos of everything they thought was interesting. Interestingly, there were very few selfies, because most of the kids genuinely found things they found exciting and took photos of it. The results of the experiment were the realization that the things adults believe children will like can be very different from what children actually like.
A similar approach can be taken in kindergarten and at home. Give a child a camera or a phone that has a camera built-in and ask them to be the photographer of the day, who takes photos of the interesting and important moments. The most important thing is that the child can decide what is and is not important and what they want to take photos of. After the day ends all the photos can be uploaded on a computer and you can create a gallery of best pictures. If this is done in a kindergarten, every day another child can be the photographer of the day, and when everyone has had the chance to be in this role, from the photos taken you can create an album of the memories that have taken place in the kindergarten. That would also be a great gift for all the children, who will graduate from kindergarten that year.
The planner of the day
Not always children are excited about the things that are mandatory, for example, tidying up their space or brushing their teeth. However, they will feel a completely different level of enthusiasm if they have put these activities in the day plan themselves. Tell the child, that they have to come up with a particular day’s plan. They can plan whatever activities they like, as long as these activities happen in the house or in the kindergarten and take into account objective circumstances, for example, lunchtime or time, when the parent’s usually pick their children up from kindergarten. Everything else is in the hands of children. You will be surprised, how responsible and structured children can be. For better execution, you should write the plan down and times when everything starts and ends should be indicated.
From time to time you can hear parents saying that children do not want to eat specific lunches or dinners that have been prepared for them. In the place of this food, they want to eat snacks or sandwiches. And the previous discussion with children about how vital are soups or salads do not matter at that point. However, what could turn this around, is if the child can plan the meals themselves, of course with the rule that these plans should have a variety of meals. Children should also participate in making the shopping list and preparing the meals.
The little cook idea can also be executed in the kindergarten by letting children help with setting the table and putting food on plates. Children can also create little meals throughout the day by asking parents to pack fruits or vegetables with them.
An event planned by children
Right now everyone should take into account the restrictions for creating events in the house or in the kindergarten. However, the main creators of a celebration are not how many people are there or how fancy the venue is, but the important things are the undivided attention and time spent together. Ask children to help with creating a scenario for the event, while taking into account the given circumstances. Ask them what they want to do and what would make the day special. Usually, children will think of tasty cakes, decorations, and fun games, that will create beautiful memories.