Updated: Apr 24, 2020
Whether we like it or not, sometimes it is good to fit into boxes. It allows people to orientate themselves easier. While Wonderland Interactive Storytelling is a program full of magical moments, imaginary journeys and set up to also teach children to think outside the box, it has been designed to work with an education system.
When running Wonderland teachers and parents will notice just how many boxes it ticks no matter if you follow the EYLF system or an IB criteria. To make it easy for teachers, I have created tables to provide this overview.
To try and help parents, a big box for me to tick is to not only provide an activity that will entertain and educate children for half an hour but to open up a possibility of hours of activities. This age group especially can be quite challenging as the children seem to be so fast and ready to explore something new every 20 minutes. I see this a little as a domino game. Thinking of completely new activities every 20 minutes can be very tiring and stressful. Letting one activity naturally lead to the next either by the child coming up with it or through gentle encouragement, makes life a lot easier. I call this 'connecting the numbers', which will then create the overall game or image that the domino tiles would make. Each time you you play (do Wonderland) you use the same tiles and yet each game the final image is completely different.
In yesterdays blog 'Let's Conquer the World' I spoke exactly about this concept and how Wonderland is set up to open up multiple possibilities to hours of fun and education. You can find the information in the teacher section of the blog.
Apart from ticking the box of fun and entertainment, the puppet has another purpose. I mentioned yesterday that all the sections, teachers, parents and children, as well as all the 5 reasons why, are linked in some form or another. The puppet both helps in creating a number of different activities to continue with after the story, but it is also there for educational reasons. In the classroom, the puppet can be used as both a treat or reward system, but also to help children that are struggling with certain social skills overcome them. Children that don't like to stand out or have attention on them don't feel this pressure and are happy to stand in front of the class as the attention is actually on the puppet. Children that like to seek attention end up stepping back when holding the puppet as they follow instructions and take on the characteristics of the puppet. Experiencing this new sensation helps students later also embody this themselves as they realise it's not that bad to stand in front of the class or that one can still get noticed and respected even when not standing out or when following the rules.
So while I am all about being unique, different and thinking outside the box, there are many benefits to ticking certain boxes. After all they have been put into the criteria for a specific reason.
I am currently editing the film footage of the second Wonderland story. If you haven't already tried the first, you can find it in our products section of the website. Later this week I will also upload more teaching stories, which are ready to go. If you are a teacher please do contact me as we also have a special going for you. I am available for parents and teachers and happy to have a half hour conference call via zoom or another platform if you would like to discuss anything specifically or just find out some details from me personally.