Strewing for older children?(5 Posts)
Popping out but will be back later on, but can someone please explain how strewing works for older children? Say eight/nine?
I understand it for younger kids but struggle with the older ones!
It's never worked for me, for that age group. Mine studiously ignore things I want them to find but will rummage long and hard for the resource that fits whatever self determined project they have in mind. I tend to just potter about now, being available to help them find stuff they need.
I was thinking setting up some art books with a little canvas and a set of paints and print out a copy of instructions on how to copy the artist? Or is that too obvious?
I have bought some cool little solar panel build kits (car, bug) and out them maybe in hone table with a sheet on how solar power works?
I am struggling to know how much information to out with the activity?
Do the above sound ok?
I'm sure everyone has their own way!
Personally, I think of strewing as sparking an interest rather than setting out an entire activity, especially with older kids. That is partly because I am lazy and partly because if I invest much energy in preparing something and it doesn't capture my child's interest then I will be disappointed or annoyed.
Here are the kinds of things I've done for my teenager:
- Get a dozen books from the library on subjects I think she might like and leave them lying around.
- Borrow a gadget or musical instrument from a friend and leave it around.
- Leave open a webpage I have been reading which I think would interest her.
- Make a point of trying new things out which I expect I would like, at a time when she is going to be around.
- Save up documentaries which I think she and I would both like, and watch them when she's in the house. She often passes through and asks "whatcha watching?" and is sucked in.
- Buy weird and wonderful cheap things from the car boot sale and leave them around for a couple of weeks. If nobody takes an interest, give them away or shove them into the loft for a few years with the idea of bringing them out again later.
- Go places with my younger daughter (I don't consult my younger dd because she doesn't have strong opinions or know what she likes yet) and ask the older one if she wants to come along. If she's undecided, which she often is, I encourage her to go by reminding her that if she doesn't like it, she can always go read or draw in the museum cafe or practice guitar in the car while waiting for us to finish.
- Ensure that we have some good art supplies in the house.
- In my dd's presence, start conversations with friends about subjects which I think are likely to interest her.
In the case of the activities you mention, I would either just leave the paints and canvas where they can be seen, or do some painting myself. I'd either leave the kits out, or build them myself. I'd figure that if the kids have a go at those things they might ask how to copy the style of an artist or how solar power works, and that would be the time I'd help them find more information which is specifically about what they were asking. If they don't take the bait, put it away for a couple of years if you have space, or give it to a friend's child.
Recent strewing for my 10 and 11 yr olds:
magnetic putty and magnets
electrical circuit kit
watercolour pencils and paper
book about Greece
Sometimes I strew something and it gets completely ignored, often I'll start playing with/investigating something myself and they come and join in. Or i'll come back from the library with loads of books about different things and leave them lying around for a few days.
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