Sunny Spring weather this half term enhanced our outdoor explorations. As we understand our world most immediately through sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell, the children who attend Out of the Box club set out to make some discoveries.
Eyes and sight: Eyes do an amazing job showing us shape, colour, movement and where we are in the space around us. Colours come in a huge variety of shades, so to explore this further, the children enjoyed an activity called ‘Nature’s palette’ in the school grounds. They admired the Spring growth and tried to match paper rectangles cut from printed magazines to colours occurring in the natural world. Didn’t these Out of the Box-ers do well!
Eyes help us navigate. So in pairs, pupils were blindfolded or had their eyes closed, whilst their partner led them safely with a guiding hand and a running commentary as to any obstacles ahead. It was an interesting task, making many children realise how most of us humans rely heavily on our eyesight!
In another task, children got into pairs and watched each other as our strong eye muscles helped each eye move to focus on distant and close objects. Both eyes worked together give us good stereoscopic vision, but everyone found that by closing one eye it was a real struggle to touch fingertips in front of their faces.
Hearing: Sitting with their eyes closed helped children to concentrate on their sense of hearing. They made a ‘Sound Map’, sitting on the grass and listening to the many sounds around them… an aeroplane above, the quiet but constant distant rumble of traffic, different bird songs and calls, children laughing and talking in Tea Time club, leaves rustling and various other sounds. At each sound, pupils made up a suitable symbol to draw on their sound map. They then had the tricky task of trying to share their maps with each other using spoken word.
It was an engaging theme that really got everyone thinking about our world and how we perceive it through our senses.