This past year, several schools tested our Klooikoffers: cardboard boxes, each containing a tool and some material, handed out through schools, to be used for tinkering by parents and children together. (Shortest summery ever! Want a bit more? Some reading on the concept, some reading on the why of our project.)
Last friday I was invited to an Amsterdam based primary school for their exhibition: the children (ages 7 and 8) passed a two different Klooikoffers (gluegun and wirestripper) around in class and all made things with their parents. Of course the exhibition was amazing! Proud children, proud parents. Leds blinking everywhere!
But then it got even better: in each Klooikoffer we put a book where families write down their findings. I took these books home and feel touched and inspired ever since. In these books we ask children and parents to write about their work. (Questions like: What did you make? How do you feel about the result? Was it hard? Did you cooperate? Did you achieve what you dreamed of?)
The books came back all fat and messy, just how we like it!
Some things that stand out:
- The word fun is mentioned in all entries!
- A lot of children are proud of the result
- Most children say is was hard, but they succeeded anyway
- There are some tough stories about burns (hot glue)
- Most entries say the cooperation went really well
- A lot of children say they learnt to look around their house and realise that almost everything can be really cool creative material!
Some parents approached me explaining: ‘It was a bit difficult, my child could not have done it on his own.’ I could not suppress a very pleased grin: it was my plan from the start that parents would step in. Only makers make makers 🙂
Amazing right? Everything we ever hoped for.
See for yourself. (And please make sure to notice the crazy, hacking style of the stories: foldout pages, little picture bags, writing all over the page, I love it!)
I think I’ll go sit in a corner and quietly shed some grateful tears…