I don’t do strewing, *but..*

Strewing: “leaving material of interest around for our children to discover”.

I wrote a bit about my views on it four years ago here and I don’t think they’ve changed much. In our house we kind of strew by accident (no sniggering at the back there!) rather than on purpose – which works more effectively anyway, because there aren’t the invisible waves of **contrived learning opportunity** emanating from it, to which my children are so, so ultra sensitive. (Is it only my children?)


I did stick a huge world map next to Lyddie’s bed a couple of weeks ago 😉

(Here come the excuses..) But I only bought it because it was cheap! (£3 in a sale at the local garden centre. Garden centres aren’t really about gardens any more, are they? I mean, seriously, we spend more than £3 on dinner! Sometimes.. It was too cheap not to buy.) And I only stuck it next to her bed because there wasn’t another spare piece of wall that was big enough for it.

BUT as an accidentally strewed **non-contrived learning opportunity** it’s been great!

Much bouncing takes place on that bed – it’s our trampoline substitute – and bouncing seems to somehow equate to curiosity. So we somehow get: *Bounce bounce bounce* “What’s that huge yellow country up there?” *Bounce bounce bounce* “Oh wow, that flag’s got a picture on it!” *Bounce bounce bounce* “The world’s pretty big really, isn’t it? HUGE in fact, when you think the coast is miles away and yet it’s like – one pixel on there…”

Everything relates to computers, to this generation of children. Real life games are “paused” while someone goes to the loo; statements are “restarted”, not repeated, and millimetres on a map become “pixels”. I find it quite endearing, if a bit startling on occasion.

And it gives rise to a whole other bunch of connections about physical movements stimulating cognitive function.

If I was one of life’s natural strewers (really, no sniggering at the back!) I might make even more use of that wall. There are a whole load of other things I could put there instead of, as they are, scattered randomly around the rest of the house (is that strewing? 😕 )

But I won’t.



Filed under Curiosity - a delicate flower, Geography, Natural learning - how it works, Strewing

11 responses to “I don’t do strewing, *but..*

  1. alliegreenhouse

    We love posters. P and L got out all our folders of Guardian posters the other day and changed a load around. My favourite is the Scholastic World Civilizations timeline poster we had in the bathroom for a while. It was very useful when Radio Four strayed into places I knew nothing about.

    We don’t strew either but I think our house is, perhaps like yours (ahem!) sort of naturally strewn…

  2. Littlepurplegoth

    This is our ‘non-method’ as well… A house soooo full of books etc that they would have to hide not to fall over thoughts. And the childrendo lots of stewing by accident for us parents to fall over as well!

  3. Tim

    I grew up in a house with a world map on the kitchen wall. I always find it surprising that people don’t seem to have any grasp of where countries are and which ones are next to which.

    IMHO, if everyone had one, the world might look a little less like this http://victorysugar.sulekha.com/blog/post/2007/02/the-world-as-per-george-bush-2.htm

  4. The garden centre didn’t have a nice sized map of the UK did it? We’re finding a road atlas is not optimal for our travel plans…… 🙂
    I like the idea of strewing!

  5. Lol love the concept of strewing! With a toddler and a 6 year old and my hubby in the mix, things are definitely haphazardly strewn around our house for random investigation when a pair of hands passes by……

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