We teach our pupils to always treat Robo and the tablets they use to program it with care. There's more to it than just common sense.
We focus a lot on what Robo Wunderkind can teach children in terms of skills––design thinking, cooperative learning, computational thinking, and many, many more. But what about manners? There’s a lot children can learn with their Robo in this domain as well. Specifically, there’s a lot children can learn if we lead them to take good care of their toys.
Robo is a valuable product – and so is a tablet. While Robo Wunderkind cubes are very durable, and you can protect your tablet with cases and foils, they have their limits. When playing, children often get so excited they forget to be careful. That is why, when being introduced to Robo and before each lesson, we take the time to tell them to be careful, to treat Robo like a friend, and to make sure others kids can use him later.
There are several important lessons we try to establish by doing this. Here's a list:
1. Teaching children value
A toy is not just a toy, it has a certain value. The school (or parents) had to pay for the toy, this money had to be earned, and someone had to make the toy in a toy factory. By reminding children about this, we are teaching them about the value of money and labor––something very important these days, as we, as a society, think more about the true cost of different industries (fast fashion, food, etc.). This is a very simple introduction to such a train of thought.
2. It’s not all just fun and games
Everything comes at a certain cost. Even having fun comes with responsibilities. In order to enjoy playtime with Robo, kids first need to take it out of the box, make sure the main cube and tablet are charged, and at the end, they need to put everything back the way they found it. That way, they become aware of the effort required to play. This can then be applied to any other activity––cleaning up after cooking, tidying your clothes, and many others. Children thus become more conscious of what their actions mean from a broader perspective, of the effort it takes to do simple things children often take for granted.
3. Become aware of their own role
We are children’s teachers, caretakers, parents, guardians… But not their servants. We teach them, tell them what to do, care for them and protect them from harm, but we don’t have to do everything for them. By teaching them to clean up after themselves and put things back to where they found them, they become aware of the fact that they, too, have duties. Because their duties will only increase as they age, it’s better to prepare them through small steps towards responsibility.
4. Sharing is caring
In most cases, children have to share Robo with other pupils. Everyone wants to play with a nice toy (i.e. a toy in a good state). By teaching children to share, we are instilling a sense of community and caring, and helping them realize that what they have can be used again, which leads us to our next point…
The more things we hoard and own, the worse it is for the environment. Robo is a durable toy that grows with a child, which is why it is the ideal choice for those concerned about sustainability. Teaching children that a toy can be used in about a million ways, for years, and one that teaches them priceless skills – well, what is more, eco-friendly than that?
Even all of the Robo Wunderkind lessons contain a short section in which the teachers tell and show their pupils how to clean up their toys and tablets with care and to explain why. And whether or not you have a Robo in your home or classroom, we believe that these are lessons all parents and teachers could implement in their playtime.
It’s a small step for man, but a big leap for mankind! ;)
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