Together things go well

Children learn on their own, from other children, from the adults and from the environment. This is how children shape their development. They are entrepreneurs and researchers, all interactions enrich the experiences. And as Jean Piaget said about playing and learning: "Everything that is taught to the child prevents the child from inventing or discovering it him/herself". Therefore, let us opt for a co-construction of knowledge and experience. Doing things together, sharing experiences and developing common concepts as a breeding ground for life, to grow for life.

 

‘Thanks to corona they learn to be bored, and since they have each other they play together more often and better. They go for a walk with mom or dad in the natural park nearby. They catch tadpoles to make a pond at home for the fish’ (Hannah) ‘Lily and Oscar play a lot together. They used to have many conflicts, but now they find their way together: they enjoy nature, play with branches, scramble in trees’ (Kathy)

 

At school, children play with their friends. At home they play with brothers or sisters or with children from the neighborhood or with their favorite toys. Children do not choose themselves, their lives are mapped out and… they are incredibly flexible. From a curiosity, they always discover the little things around them. No friends came to visit during the lockdown. Families walked in the park, but stayed in their little bubble. Siblings were dependent on each other.


Ada worked on her school assignment while Pia pulled on her sweater to play together. And if Ada wanted to read, Pia respected her choice, even though she didn't always like it. Children got to know each other in a different way.

 

   
 ‘Ada and Pia often play together, but they have also learned to respect each other's space. Sometimes one wants to do something different or not to play together. Being together can take many forms. I think this was an important learning experience for Ada and Pia’ (Annelies)  ‘Linus and Laya make their own cuddly toy. They drew a rabbit shape on A4. And then: cut out, choose fabrics, draw, cut out, fill up, sew up. They are sooo happy with it’ (Naomi)

 

A story of seeing and missing


Children love to play, but during the corona time the word 'missing' was often there. Children miss the daily routine, or not at all, because they could sleep late, take time to put on their clothes, and those who couldn't do it take the time to learn that. Children could take the time to do something, or just do nothing. However, missing the people they love to see was the hardest pill to swallow. So when children were allowed to see their friends, family, and all the people they love again, they didn't release the boundaries a little bit. No, they released them completely.
The government drew the lines, but the real lockdown brought families into an unknown world. Adults combined work and family, which is not easy. A visit to or staying with grandma and grandpa was no longer possible. Visiting friends, playing together were not allowed… all this created an unfamiliar feeling. Children are confronted with the emotions of missing and sorrow, but they also explore the new world around them. They approach ‘the new normal’ creatively, by bringing up creative solutions.

 

After a month of lockdown, Magnus says spontaneously, ‘I never want the virus to go away’. When I ask why, he replies: ‘Because then we are always at home and playing, and I like that so much’. But Tito is more bothered by it. During one of the crisis, he calmed down when he said, in tears, ‘I just want the virus to be gone’. Magnus and Tito talk about the time before and after ‘the virus’. For example they say: ‘Long ago when the virus was not yet there, we were allowed to stay with grandma and pépé. Or we go to the playground’ (Hannah)

 

Nouri missed his friends very much. As a parent you cannot expect young children to keep their distance during play. The ‘virus rules’ are strange enough for children without us giving them extra stress. So we had to wait until the contact rules relaxed a bit. And now Nouri, Bram and Ada can enjoy playing together, getting dirty and exploring their environment’ (Nima)
 
Seeing Moeti (Granma) is fun, waving a bit, kissing the glass. Kobus feels a drop, and the water tap now gets all the attention " (Tine)  

 

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