Play is fantastic! It’s what our tamariki are designed to do. You might say it’s their ‘job’ to play.
Here at Pukeokahu School we try to include as much play and playful learning as we can in our daily programme and curriculum. What it looks like for our younger students compared to our older students is different, but the same philosophy behind it exists.
Why is play important? Play makes school fun which makes it a happy place to be. Happy children are happy learners. Play allows our kids to develop the Key Competencies (which make up quite a large chunk of our NZ curriculum but often don’t get the limelight they deserve) in authentic and meaningful ways. They learn social and emotional skills in real time. They get to be in control of their learning, make choices and decisions. The learn to manage themselves, problem-solve and how to get along with others. And that is just the tip of the ice-berg.
Today Make Day Friday was introduced and it was a hit with ALL ages. Make Day Friday is about giving the kids a chance to make, play and be creative while following something that interests them. It’s their time to choose. The Make Day Friday board has a variety of suggestions or invitations of things that they can do with their time, or they can run another idea by me. As long as it has purpose it’s generally approved. Devices are banned unless taking a video, photo or doing research. Take a look at what happened during Make Day Friday this week.
Baking was super popular. The kids decided as a group what they would bake. It’s very handy having a nearly 12yr old on hand as Luca just took on the leadership role and worked with the young ones to get the biscuits done. It was a great demonstration of tukana-teina relationships. Not to mention the piles of Maths being used. Doubling the recipe, fractions, how many of each do we need, dividing up the biscuits evenly at the end, rolling them into a shape etc.
Outside Rickon was busy inventing his own version of Stone Henge…Wood Henge. What a fantastic demonstration of using his prior knowledge then creating something new from that. His sign making was awesome and showed his ability to use writing outside of the formal classroom setting. But don’t worry the girls didn’t just stick to the kitchen. They were amongst the outside action building a campfire, reliving real life experiences and using that knowledge. The woodwork table also got well used to make all sorts of ‘things’ they needed for their campfire / house creation.
Make Day Friday finished with a quick reflection discussion. The feedback was 100% positive. The kids loved Make Day Friday and think it should happen again!
Watch this space for next Friday’s instalment of Make Day Friday. It promises to be a goodie!