Thursday, 11 October 2018

Creative Learning & STEAM + M {Fern Club Harrogate}

"You can learn more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation" - Plato

I never thought I'd be a mum to boys first; For some reason I always envisioned I'd have two girls like my mum! It was a pretty silly expectation, I realised quickly, and now I can't imagine life without these two wild boys. I consider myself very blessed to have two children who constantly challenge me to see the world differently. For me, being a parent has meant I learn much more from them than they do from me. As an adult we have so many pre-conceived ideas about the world and often things we would do well to un-learn all together!
Being creative with my kids has always been important to me but even now I'm learning just how necessary it is for their development. TJ is so creative; he loves getting very hands on with projects and just thrives in any environment where he can create or be imaginative.

A few weeks ago I got a message from Lorna at Fern Club who has just started a new series of STEAM + M sessions in Harrogate for children. Just in case you're not familiar with it, "STEAM is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, diologue and critical thinking" 
(At Fern Club, the extra M is to include movement. Getting kids actively involved and learning through doing!)

I was really thrilled that she invited both boys along but also us too! I thought it was wonderful that we'd be able to not just stay and watch but get involved and just spend some time playing with the kids. We popped along to our first session last Monday after school where Lorna had all manner of activities planned; I was curious as to whether there would be enough to keep our two engaged but I was so surprised at how quickly they got involved. Lorna has lots of experience working with children and has done a fantastic job of putting together activities that really get them thinking and focused. She is also super lovely with an infectious enthusiasm for creativity and learning through play. This week the theme was wood; some of the activities were so simple, like weaving with different materials and painting with sticks and branches, but the kids just loved being able to be expressive. At times the room goes surprisingly quiet while the children are so absorbed in their task! 
There is not a strict routine, and the children are free to move between activities or focus on one area where Lorna might be talking and I think because they can choose they quite naturally will get involved by themselves.
The boys are absolutely loving Fern Club and can't wait to go back every week, it's so lovely for us to be able to watch them learning and just being themselves.
I love the way Lorna has set up the classes and feel I have found a kindred spirit when it comes to children's learning!

Lorna is also running classes for younger children throughout the week in during school hours, you can find all of the info over on the website
There's still time to join the last classes before half term, which I highly recommend!
(Do come and say hello if I'm there!)

How do you get your little ones to be creative?

NB Collaborative post with Fern Club however all opinions are entirely our own


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