What is special about this house? It was built by 15 6-year-old children from the Green Group – the oldest group of children at Auroville Kindergarten.
For a few weeks, the children spent part of their day building this entire structure. From the bricks to the roof, everything was done by them.
On the day of the house’s inauguration, they decorated the house with colorful balloons, paper flags hanging from the ceiling and a beautiful altar of flowers. With great enthusiasm every other group at the school (made up of younger children) was invited to visit the house at a different time of the day.
During the visit, they sat together on the floor of this small space that belonged to them. The admiring younger children could hear all about the great challenge of building a house from the proud 6-year-olds. They talked, sang, and exchanged gifts. The bigger ones offered chocolates as a thank you. The children offered a keyring made by themselves of beads and paper as a thank you for the invitation.
The school year is coming to an end and next year these children will not return to Kindergarten, instead continuing their journey to the first year of elementary school. Building a house seemed a beautiful and sensitive way to symbolize this moment. Have you ever imagined how much you could learn in this process? Group work, differences in skills and interests, notion of space, mathematics, aesthetics, motor coordination, autonomy, self-esteem, and a lot of other things.
For younger children it also seemed like an interesting learning stimulus. At the Blue Group – a group of 5 year olds – the concepts of gratitude and generosity were worked on when they received the invitation for the visit and the children were able to work on a craft to offer as a gift to older children. In addition, during the vacation, the house will be dismantled and the space will be waiting for the new group of children of the Green Group to express their own construction. They are excited and motivated by the challenge that awaits them and the surprises about their own abilities.
It’s a simple idea, which requires minimum of resources (though it does require adequate physical space) and which moves the engages the whole school in the curious and creative energy of learning and teaching by doing.