When Hutchison started construction on the Crain Center, a new building, the 2-year-olds in the Little Hive program were curious.
Their teachers took them on field trips across campus to see the construction site where the girls observed the building’s progress throughout the year. They identified shapes, made sketches of the building, and discussed safety, tools, and working together. The process engaged the girls’ vocabulary and critical-thinking skills. In the classroom, the girls hammered golf tees, constructed buildings with blocks, and made paintings using nuts and bolts.
All the while they learned problem solving and self-expression, cultivated their imagination, creativity, and social and emotional growth, and sharpened their gross and fine motor skills. The teachers watched as their girls’ drawings improved, noticed their cooperation in building block exercises, and were delighted by their comments and questions during field trips and in class.
In important ways, the girls were learning observation and exploration, critical thinking, and collaboration. In the new school year, the Little Hive girls (now in pre-kindergarten) went to see the building they had watched and wondered about. They saw the exercise equipment, concession stand, and even took a ride in the elevator. It was a fitting conclusion to a learning lesson that grew organically out of the girls’ interest and what would normally be an off-limits construction site.