This schema is characterised by an interest in things changing (or 'transforming').
Transformers love to dress up, bake, turn lights on and off, mix different coloured paints together, cover themselves in sticky stuff – anything that brings about a transformation of some kind.
They may also like to:
Talk to the child about what he/she is doing
Give them words to describe what they are doing, such as mixing, changing, moulding, covering, creating and melting.
Look for ways to encourage exploration. Ask questions, like –
Create increasingly stimulating and challenging set-ups
Children need familiarity and repetition, but also variety and challenge.
Without making drastic changes, look for ways to increase the complexity and challenge of a transforming setup.
Provide for groups of children with similar schemas
Look for ways to enable groups of children with similar schemas to play together. They will stimulate each other, providing encouragement and new ideas.
Read books about transforming
Children love to hear and read stories about things they are interested in.
Reading books with transforming themes will extend their transforming vocabulary and give them opportunities to explore new ideas about transforming.
Take pictures and write learning stories
Children learn by revisiting activities again and again. Looking at photos and reading learning stories is a way of revisiting, and an opportunity for children to deepen their understanding of the activity.
Transformers love messy play, so make sure you provide plenty of opportunity for that.
Playing with paint, dye, glitter and anything else that can be mixed, squeezed or applied to a surface (including the body!)
Putting on costumes, masks and wigs
Bathing dolls (in coloured water, perhaps) and dressing/undressing them
Making bubbles with detergent
Creating with craft material, scissors and glue
Planting seeds and watching the plants grow
Doing science experiments that involve transformation (e.g. connecting a light to a switch, or making a volcano)
Turning over a tornado tube
Putting together a monarch butterfly life-cycle puzzle
By supporting a child's schema, such as transforming, you are encouraging their exploration, empowering them in their passion and nurturing their wellbeing. These are three of the strands of Te Whāriki.
To learn more about Te Whāriki, visit the website.
Our thanks to the Auckland Playcentre Shop for permission to use this article. Great play starts here.