Design Thinking in Playgroup

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Sweeties in the jar sweeties in the jar
shake and rattle, shake and rattle
Sweeties in the jar

The term “design thinking” is frequently used in connection to STEM labs. However, design thinking is bigger than STEM. It begins when you tap into student curiosity and let them to create, test and re-create until they eventually transport what they made to a real audience. Design thinking isn’t a subject or a topic or a class. It’s more of  a way of solving problems that encourages risk-taking and creativity.

In playgroup design thinking is  about assuring the little ones that they can make a difference. Toddlers and preschoolers are naturally curious. They wonder about everything and their ways for problem solving are certainly unique and creative. By inviting these little people into the world of design thinking we are equipping them with a mindset that says: go ahead. Try out your ideas. And just do it. They are empathetic, resilient and caring for each other. Let’s see what happens when design thinking meets Playgroup.

The process started with the rhyme:

Jelly on a plate jelly on a plate
wibbly, wobbly, wibbly, wobbly
Jelly on a plate

Sausages in the pan sausages in the pan
Flip them over flip them over
Sausages in the pan

Sweeties in the jar sweeties in the jar
shake and rattle, shake and rattle

Sweeties in the jar.

Teacher showed them the shake and rattle toy and everyone wanted to play with that toy. On being told that they couldn’t play with it as it belonged to someone else, the children collectively passed through a range of emotions beginning from being upset about it. They were no longer interested in all the class toys placed in front of them. At this moment teacher raised a driving question “We don’t have our own shake and rattle toys in our classroom. That’s a problem. What can we do”? Various responses came up.  “You give us.” “I’ll go to Bacha Party and buy from there.” Then teacher asked them “Can we can make our own toy?”  They were amazed and replied, “Yes, yes, yes!”

Through this process children passed through four stages of “FIDS”, FEEL, IMAGINE, DO & SHARE”.

Children used different objects for creating the sound in their shake and rattle toy and decorated it. They were happy to play with those toys. The class resonated with the buzz and rattle of our newly made shakers as the children shook their toys with all the might in their little arms.

 
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