Learning from the field- Malad

Date: Friday 10th August

Dipak (Toybank field officer) has a natural flare with children, instantly felt through the calmness cultivated in the class. His presence allows the children to play, engage and demonstrate their confidence. "Teacher" one child cheers. "Look" another exclaims. "Photo" the other bids. Affirmation from Dipak is delightful and something that spurs the children on to finish a puzzle or accomplish building a model. His conduct of the class flows freely and firmly...

1) What is inside my room?
The class begins with a quick activity. The children close their eyes after some hint of hesitation. Dipak requests them to think of items in their room that they can share with the class. Once eyes are opened, they are individually asked to state the pieces that they thought of. Every child is required to list new items and every one of the them are engaged by the activity. Their minds are alert and ready. 

2) Action game - eat and drink
This involves listening and reaction. Dipak announces victuals for the children to decide which one is food and drink. This is pronounced by a hand action specific to each word and causes a commotion in the class that is vibrant and energetic. 

3)Play time!
Aware and attentive, the kids are ready to being the play session. Games are disbursed after four groups are made up of four. Each group is purposely mixed boys and girls by Dipak. Mostly puzzles are present and every child exhibits an eagerness to start, not at all put off by how many pieces they are bombarded with.

When going around the class, I notice that every group seems to have taken solo responsibility for their own puzzle parts. It has been proven that puzzles present many benefits and I definitely cannot deny this fact when watching every child become absorbed in their own minds making mandatory decisions to take when putting the pieces together. It takes time. Time for them to understand the colours, shapes and patterns that they must make. I hold up the puzzle box in order for them to see what they must achieve. As they ponder on the end product, patience is over taken in the classroom as every kid accepts that this challenge requires time and patience. The set goal inspires a multitude of skills in the children, from cognitive to problem-solving. 

Grace Grossman, Toybank Intern


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