Almost every single day, one of my students will say, “Mrs. Stewart, I made this for you.” What they are giving me is an idea.

I never know when one of my students is going to give me something but I have noticed that when I tell the children what to make or do, they rarely come to me and say, “I made this for you.”  Now why is that?

Every gift begins with an idea

When the children come up with an idea on their own, it eventually leads them down a path until they decide they are satisfied. When they finish, it seems they stop and think about what they should do with their idea and that’s when the children decide that they could give their ideas away as a gift for a friend, mom, dad, and sometimes they want to give it to me.

The difference between a project and an idea

I guess it makes sense that the ideas my students conjure up would become a gift for someone else and the projects I give them to do would end up being, well… a project that they were told to do. We don’t give people our assigned projects do we? No. We give people our ideas. Those are the things we care about the most and want to share with others in hopes our ideas would be appreciated or will bring others a little joy.

When is the last time your students gave you an idea?

I bet your littles give you their ideas too in the form of drawings, paintings and more. However, if your students haven’t skipped over to you lately and said, “I made this for you!” then here are a couple of tips for ya…

  • Set aside some time and space for the children to come up with their own ideas.
  • Provide the children with a variety of tools and materials to put their ideas into action.
  • Take a step back and see what the children come up with all by themselves.

The children may end up with a stack of construction paper pieces glued together or a tray of inedible play dough cookies but if is their idea, then chances are, they will want to share it with you.

Have you heard about the Discover Conference?

The Discover Conference is right around the corner so be sure to mark your calendar for January 23rd and plan to join this amazing online, five-day event! More info will be coming your way soon so stay tuned!