One day, as we went for a walk in the “jungle” in our playground, I saw one of our children collect a few very tiny rocks. He held them in his hand to watch them closely for a few seconds, and then asked me if he could take them home. I asked him why he wanted to keep them, and he replied these rocks were for mommy and daddy. Then, he placed them in his little pocket. At that moment, I felt something warm and precious. These rocks meant a lot to him, and he feels connected to them. At home, I took out my favourite rock which I had collected on a hike at a snow capped mountain on Ice Lake in Shangri-la, China. I immersed myself with this rock for a while and started to reflect about the children’s rocks. I thought why not share my story with the rock with the children and show how I use the rocks to reflect on my experience?
The next day, I set up several rocks with different shapes on the table. The children picked their favourite one and shared what they saw on the rocks like the holes, the shape of a rabbit, a star or even a car. I encouraged them to listen to the rocks. One child said she heard a Gin Gin Gin sound; another said it was more of a QQQ. Children created their own stories for the rocks saying the rock needed to go fishing. Through these beautiful moments, I can see a glimpse of how the children imagination works. After that, they all drew their own rocks and named them. The names ranged from Star, Angel, Mommy or even the children’s own name.
Nowadays, humans are more likely to try to control nature, however, we belong to nature and nature gives us everything. Therefore, it is important to be mindful to take care of our nature. Through this exploration of rocks with the children,I hope they gained a sense of responsibility for nature. We can help children discover their own roles in maintaining this fragile balance for themselves, and hopefully for generations to come.”
In the future I would like to create more space and an environment for the rocks with other materials so that the children can explore them further by touching, feeling and smelling them themselves.
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