Light and darkness project
This project was done with children aged 1 to 4 years.
The idea for the project was initiated when children learnt that after the music and movement session the light would be dimmed for them to calm down. Gradually children learnt that dim lights signify calming down. Children’s comments at the end of the session also indicated that dimming of lights excited them. Observing children’s interest in darkness the educators decided to arrange a provocation.
Provocation using flashlights – Children were given flashlights and the light of the room was dimmed. The educators ensured that the children were not scared of the dark. The children were asked to check what happens when the flashlights were on. Educators also asked children open ended questions to get insights into their thoughts. The children were rather excited about the discovery of flashlights and the effect they had in the dark.
Provocation using table lamp and mannequin – Observing children’s interest in flashlights and darkness the educators decided to extend another provocation. This time the educator lit a table lamp in a dark room and placed a mannequin in front of the lamp. The children were asked open-ended questions about what happens to the mannequin when it is placed in front of the table lamp. The children replied that it was a “shadow”. Upon discovering the mannequin’s shadow, the children were excited about the concept and started making their own shadow. Children themselves concluded that by blocking the light they could make their own shadow. Soon shadow making turned into a fun game.
Shadow and art – Observing children’s interest in mark making and drawing, the educators organized a shadow art activity. Different materials were laid out for the children. A table lamp and some papers were placed on the table. They picked up the toy of their choice, placed it in front of the table lamp and started tracing and coloring it.
Through the project children were encouraged to explore using all their senses. It also allowed children to question things around them, investigate and find answers to those questions through observation. Children’s lack of vocabulary was not viewed as a hurdle by the educators because we believe that children express themselves in many ways.