Children Create The Outcome

by Mary Ann on May 19, 2010

When you are engaged in a project what matters to you? For many adults it is the outcome. We want the cookies to taste good, the tomatoes to grow large and red, the dress to look store bought and the painting to be perfect. I know that doesn’t apply to every adult but it does apply to many of us.

When children are engaged in a project what matters to them? I think that for the most part, it is the process. Have you every watched a five year old paint. They like digging the brush deep in the paint and swirling it around. They like lots of paint on the brush. Then they swipe it onto the paper. They smile at the brightness of the color. They aren’t all that concerned if the red bleeds into the green just a bit or if the red turns the yellow a tad orange at the edges. It is the act of painting that they care about.

We can really increase the effectiveness of The Spark Station if we let go of the outcome of what is in there. If an item is used differently than we planned when we put it in The Spark Station let go of the outcome. The act of using that item in a new and creative way is what children love, it’s what makes a learning time just that, a learning time.

Our job as parent mentors is to provide the materials and the inspiration; and theirs is to create the outcome.

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