The ball study has inspired so much game creation. We thought we’d give a slightly more traditional indoor ball sport a “spin.” Self-regulation skills and “sugar-words” are helping the children as they take turns and encourage their peers. Unlike true bowling, we only roll the ball once per turn. Using a handmade score card, the students mark the pins that were knocked over during their current frame or turn. Next, it is the bowler’s responsibility to reset the game for the following player.
This game was created without grown-up input. When they began inventing, each child had his or own game in mind. Soon, they realized that the resources were limited and four different games simply wouldn’t fit in the space. Discussions regarding rights to materials, who’s ball would roll first, the purpose of the props, and how to build the ramps flowed seamlessly between four engaged minds. A single game slowly began to emerge. The “aliens” (the hapless people standing in the middle of the blocks) were targets for balls rolling from three different vantage points. Each dropped in turn. The aliens had no hope of survival.
Our newest research topic is bouncy and buoyant. It rumbles and rolls. The shapes and sizes astound! The children want to learn more about:
Before break, a basket of random bouncy objects was discovered on one of our shelves. Before we knew it, the balls had made their way into every section of the room. There were balls in the kitchen, balls in the art area, balls rolling down planks, balls sliding down steps. It was obvious which direction our next study would take.
We’ve only begun to explore the properties of balls this week. Below is a cross-section of a few children plying their sorting skills on the spherical objects. Later we’ll post a short video highlighting one of the new games they’ve invented.