One Mum said, “Playdough, no way, I don’t let my boys play with playdough, it’s too messy.”
Another Mum reflected that pretty much anything goes at her house (within reason). Coincidently, this is also the Mum who filled the water trolley for the first time today (now that the weather is warmer), which the children absolutely loved. So much so that I had to strip Immy off before popping her into the car as her dress was soaked. Now that didn’t bother me at all, it is a short ride home and it is a warm day, and to me it’s just water. As I have shared previously, I think I too rate pretty highly on the ‘mess-o-meter.’
As well as mess, I think we also all have different tolerance levels for noise. I certainly saw evidence of this as a teacher. Some teachers (and unfortunately, some administrators) feel that a quiet (read ‘silent’) classroom indicates that the children are busy learning. I was always of the opinion that a general level of background chatter was normal and healthy, as long as the children were staying ‘on task’ with what they were meant to be achieving.
Learning doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Children learn through doing. Doing, at least where young children are involved, usually involves mess. Whether it be debris, dirt or disarray, it can all just feel like mess. But it’s not, its doing and playing and learning.
And all of this learning is much less effective in isolation. We not only learn by doing but also by showing and telling and demonstrating to others. Learning that is shared in this way is not only good for the pupil but also for the child tutor – as knowledge is shared, it is reinforced.
I find it hard to believe that children can learn to the best of their ability without some element of mess and noise.
As a Mum, how do you rate on the mess-o-meter?