Dear Parents of Sibylla Kiddle School,
Do you remember when your child was very young and the most intriguing aspect of the gift you gave them was not the gift itself but the box it came in? As you watch that young child climb into the box, bang the box like a drum and wear the box on their head you are observing the complex interaction between creativity, curiosity and learning. The box was simply the engagement hook to enter into high-level brain activity. As children age, their intrigue over cardboard boxes likely wanes. However, I have a gift giving suggestion for your child this year that will likely create just as much interest and cost you less than a little stocking stuffer, possibly even free.
There are no shortage of amazing toys on the market encouraging children to construct. What if you gave a gift encouraging your child to deconstruct? Think of all those old and possibly broken electronics buried in your home somewhere. If you don’t have any old and broken electronics, try looking at online classified ads. Now imagine what your child will do when given an old VCR, telephone, camera or hair dryer and they are told they can take it apart to see what is inside. It is fully okay to deconstruct the product. Destroy it!
I’ve seen students do this very activity before. Their interest and engagement level skyrockets. Creativity is needed to figure out how to get the item taken apart. Curiosity abounds as they will not stop asking questions and wondering about their discoveries. Opportunities to learn and inspire will be activated without conscious awareness. The gift may be unorthodox compared to traditional gifts but I have a feeling that most children will be curious enough to start reaching for a screwdriver or pillars within minutes of opening it up. Possibly your own curiosity might just get the best of you and you will want to join in the fun.