The Adventurers Room Jewelry Store
by Drew Spriggs and Iris Vargas, Adventurers Room Teachers
It started as a small, creative, and friendly gesture from one friend to another, and grew to include a class full of excited and engaged children, brimming with ideas about creating a jewelry store.
As we were working on another project (our Kindness Tree), one of our children found a way to create a ring from the materials that he was using, and proceeded to give it to a friend. Some of the other children became intrigued and expressed their desire to create jewelry as well. Their mutual interest became contagious and the entire class was soon consumed with excitement and ideas that resulted in the idea to create a jewelry store.
Our approach to working with the children is to make sure that we pay careful attention to the happenings, discussions, and interests the children show each and every day. In doing so, we are able to provide a safe and trusting atmosphere in which children can take risks in their learning and take the lead as they explore and immerse themselves in new ideas and interests.
The children’s excitement about the jewelry store was our cue. The next day we brought in a wide variety of materials that the children could use to create different kinds of jewelry. As the children made jewelry, we had discussions with them about the different ideas they expressed to each other during their time working. From those discussions the children determined what would need to happen in order to make our Jewelry Store come to life, i.e. inviting parents, creating signs, making invitations, providing food and drinks, building a jewelry stand. We created committees that would be in charge of handling each of the “to-dos” mentioned, and the children signed up to be on the committees they were most interested in. The committees included the Advertising Committee, the Building Committee, the Sales Committee, the Jewelry Making Committee, and the Food and Drinks Committee. They were formed to ensure that each child brought their special skills, interests, and strengths to the table in this inclusive project.
Thanks to their tireless efforts and enthusiastic work, the Adventurers group was able to bring this magical event to all of our families, culminating in the Grand Opening of the Adventurers Jewelry Store on Wednesday, May 9th. All items sold out quickly and the class still has to decide what to do with the "real money" that was raised!
This project is an example of the child-centered and community-based learning that we strive to enable in our classroom all year long and that benefits all areas of learning, including social-emotional growth, mathematical thinking, kinesthetic skills, language and literacy development, and much more.