Encounter With Children
My Involvement in the Service Learning Project
It was just last week when I was involved in assisting young girls to make crafts for their Christmas holiday. The girls were aged between 4-10 years and although they were enthusiastic to make their own made crafts, they were very shy. This created a communication problem, as they could not exchange ideas in the process of making the crafts. This regenerated to the process going at a slow pace. As an older person, I decided that I should take control of the situation and guide the girls to make their crafts. To make them feel at ease, I became friendly and shared jokes with them. This indeed worked as the children were now talking freely with no fear.
We had decided that we would make snowman ornaments for Christmas purposes. We gathered the materials that were needed to make the craft such as glasses, white filter, orange craft form, marker, pipe cleaner, and black craft form square and glue dots. The orange craft form was used for cutting triangles to make snowman’s nose. The black craft form square was used in making the snowman’s hut. The glass ornaments surprisingly appeared wonderful for these children’s crafts. I was required to give a closer supervision while they made the crafts lest they be hurt by the glasses. My children worked wonderfully on the craft and we made crafts that many people could not believe were made by kids.
In assembling the materials, I first removed the hanger from the ornaments before the children started making the craft. I had the children fill these ornaments with the filler they had chosen. I also provided them with an eraser and a pencil so as to push the filler through the ornament’s top. We used glue dots to add some features such as the eyes, and orange triangle for the nose. We made snowman’s mouth with small dots with a black marker. I reminded the children to make their circles in the glass ornaments with their markers. I gave demonstrations to the kids on making small spirals from the ends of their pipe cleaners. I had the kids practice many times. (This is an important aspect, especially when enhancing effective motor skills). The spirals at the end of the pipe cleaner were the earmuffs for the snowman’s ornament. We wrote the names and the year on the ornaments. They looked great. The success of our endeavours was derived from our mutual cooperation, typical of the system theory and Rothwell’s principles of communication and cooperation in achieving the common purpose. The children learned what working in a group means as well as what they achieve in such a group compared to working individually.
What I learned from this group is that, it is essential for one to become friendly to the kids when you are involved with them. Developing positive attitudes will enhance your performance in working with them. When dealing with kids, I found it necessary to tailor my communication with regard to their age. In other words, the tone I could use for the older people would not be the tone to use for these children. It is also paramount to be sensitive on their cultural orientations and positive aspects. This will make them build self-esteem, more especially to such group of children as the one that I was involved in. Although most of the children in my group happened to be shy girls, the approach I applied made them became interested and more so engaged in the entire project.
Right from the start to the end of the project, both the children and I had an enjoyable experience. I am sure the children learned a lot from my guidance and I also learned a lot from them. As the children enjoyed the moment, they also obtained knowledge on making the snowman’s craft. I wish that we had more time to make other types of ornaments. This was also a moment for me to remember my ornament making skills. I am very certain that children will treasure this moment in their lifetime.