Saturday, December 14, 2013

the thread game...

The Prisoner.. can you get loose?
Before children had iPads, laptops, smart phones and other such devices to amuse themselves, they took pleasure in other things. While many different sources list Kindergarten gifts in different orders and the lists vary, Maria Kraus-Boelte's 1893 book, THE KINDERGARTEN GUIDE: AN ILLUSTRATED HAND-BOOK, DESIGNED FOR THE SELF-INSTRUCTION OF KINDERGARTNERS, MOTHERS, AND NURSES offers the thread game as gift number 12. With gift number 12 activities were shown for one child or more using simple pieces of string or thread. She notes:
"...children always must have their fingers busy. Activity is the law of childhood and of nature; without it even the smallest weed could not grow! This natural activity of children is manifested in countless ways. No person is born lazy. A child actively and correctly trained, will not only retain its natural activity and energy, but, to a certain extent, use them to the best advantage. Many things which we learned in our childhood, we may since have forgotten; though there will always be some things which we retain and remember as clearly as ever, just as if they were printed with golden letters in our memory — recalling ever so many happy hours spent in innocent amusement with those we loved. The simple amusement of the Thread-Game answers so well to the child's natural inclination to constant activity that we may often find it in the houses of the poor as well as in those of the rich."
These days, schooling (in too many cases) is where the kids sit still and the teachers perform. In addition to finger games, the thread game offered exploration of knots, and while not being able to tie shoes may be an embarrassment for some children and parents, it is becoming more common as children have so little time to play with string.

But knots are fun and at one time Froebel had his students making nets to capture fish and small prey, and then using that activity to enhance their understanding of nature. We, on the other hand, put powerful technological devices in the hands our our children that leave them out of touch. As an example of how stupid our consumer culture has become, check this out: Fisher-Price Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity™ Seat for iPad® device. It should be regarded as criminal for a corporation to lure young parents into such stupidity leading to the neglect of their child's real learning needs.

Today, I will be working on edits and may not make it to the shop at all unless I am very lucky. Tonight I'll be at Lux Weaving Studio selling boxes to Christmas shoppers.

Make, fix and create...

No comments:

Post a Comment