Cognitive Advancement at Kindergarten. Gaining Knowledge, Practising the Act of Thinking

by Hanna Vock


The following article was written in 2004 and published in a conference documentation. The occasion was the conference „The competent child. Between educational planning and self-dynamics“. The conference was organised by the Department of Day Care Facilities for Children in the Diocesan Caritas Association for the Archdiocese of Cologne.
The structure „Guideline – Concretisation – Practical Suggestions“ was given by the conference organisers, the contents were provided by me.

Shortly after the publication of the conference documentation, a day care centre director called me and reported that her team had thoroughly worked through the article at a team day. Afterwards, the colleagues unanimously stated that the team now had a much clearer and more uniform understanding of cognitive support and that they wanted to implement many suggestions in their future work or pay more attention to them.

See also: Checklist: Cognitive Advancement

This idea,
to work with the article in a team,
I am happy to pass it on here.

And here the article begins:

Thinking Is Fun
Cognitive Promotion at Kindergarten

What I like to do, I do well. Keeping children having fun, enjoying independent thinking and supporting them in developing their thinking skills is an important and fascinating task for educators in the context of holistic support. Along the way, this can also contribute to the children’s later success at school.

Here, first of all, is a rough overview of the guidelines, which will be fleshed out further below and provided with practical suggestions:

Basic prerequisites for development

1. respectful interest in the children’s thinking as a basic pedagogical attitude
2. good cognitive development needs humour
3. the expression of thoughts needs a trusting atmosphere
4. developing possibilities of expression

Learning conditions for cognitive development

5. cognitive development is embedded in the holistic activities of the children
6. kindergarten teachers identify and plan cognitive development as a specific area of development.
7. cognitive development includes different levels of research, thinking and cognition
8. Cognitive development is best achieved through content that interests the children.
9. cognitive enhancement also means: letting children participate in how others solve problems by thinking.
10. cognitive development includes the teaching and development of cognitive „tools“.

Structural conditions

11. internal differentiation must be possible
12. exploration of the wider environment must be possible
13. cooperation with parents is important

Guideline 1:
Interest in the children’s thinking as a basic pedagogical attitude

Concretisation 1:
Children’s thinking is not visible from the outside. We can assume that every child has interesting thoughts every day.

Practical suggestions:

    • Show interest in the children’s ideas, thoughts and topics, ask about them.
    • Give plenty of time and space to the conversation with the children.

Concretisation 2:

Consider the children’s independent thoughts as an important expression of their learning, their engagement with the environment. The children’s thoughts provide information about their developmental process.

Practical suggestions:

    • Taking children’s independent thinking seriously and valuing it.
    • When children express their ideas and thoughts, we can „pick them up where they are“ with our support impulses.
    • Pick up the children’s ideas, discuss them with them and help them to realise them.
    • The children’s thoughts provide information about how well they understand what is happening in the kindergarten and in their other environment.
    • Include the child’s expressed thoughts in developmental diagnostics.

Concretisation 3:
Accessing children’s thoughts means finding out what moves them cognitively and emotionally.

Practical suggestions:

    • Pay attention to the emotional parts and the cognitive parts of the expressed thoughts.
    • Give the children respectful feedback. Asking questions to make sure they have been understood correctly.

Guideline 2:
Good kognitive development needs humour

Concretisation 1:
Thinking is fun when it is not strained and dogged, but light and easy.

Practical suggestions:

    • Making mistakes must be allowed.
    • Defeats, failures, mistakes do not bring scolding, but comfort.
    • As a kindergarten teacher, deal with your own ignorance, mistakes or failures without embarrassment in front of the children.

Concretisation 2:
Not wanting to know everything beforehand. Thinking and researching always have an open end; surprises are possible and make up a large part of the attraction.

Practical suggestions:

    • For many questions and problems there are various good answers and solutions. No one knows them all. Keep an open mind!
    • Allow fun in discovery and feel it yourself if possible.

Concretisation 3:
Thinking is fun when we are fun while thinking.

Practical suggestions:

    • Create an atmosphere where good-natured jokes and joking have their place. Good jokes train the ability to think. Understanding a joke or even making it up yourself requires grasping the unexpected, the grotesque, the funny about a situation.

Guideline 3:
Expressing thoughts needs a trusting atmosphere

Concretisation 1:

Shy and still insecure children should also be given the opportunity to express their thoughts. For this, the child needs stable trust with the listeners.

Practical suggestions:

    • Do not allow laughing and derogatory remarks.
    • Help children to express their thoughts by being attentive, calm, patient and asking gently.
    • Repeat the insecure child’s statement positively.
    • Encourage shy children to speak if there is a suggestion that they could contribute at this moment.

Concretisation 2:
Even unusual thoughts that deviate from the mainstream may be expressed. For this, the child needs to trust in the kindergarten teacher that she also finds such thoughts important.

Practical suggestions:

    • Challenge deviant, unconventional thoughts.
    • Frequently ask: Could it be completely different, could we do it differently?
    • Validate good unusual ideas.

Guideline 4:
Develop possibilities of expression

Concretisation 1:

Children can only express their thoughts if they have appropriate means of expression. The communication, the conversation, the exchange of ideas and thoughts between child, group and kindergartn teacher is the richer, the more differentiated the possibilities of expression are.

Practical suggestions:

    • Encourage spoken language.
    • Encouraging body language, facial expressions and gestures.
    • Encourage painting and drawing skills.

Guideline 5:
Cognitive promotion is embedded in holistic activities of the children

Concretisation 1:
Every game, every work, every activity has cognitive parts.

Practical suggestions:

    • Children immersed in play, children actively and enthusiastically playing, children thinking do not disturb. They learn intensively.
    • Ensure children have large, undivided periods of time for free play.
    • Help children to implement their own ideas.

Concretisation 2:

Every game, every activity has different phases that require mental activity:
– Emergence of the desire to play and the first idea for a game.
– Possibly contacting other children and advertising the idea.
– Negotiating and concretising the idea, negotiating rules and/or roles.
– Procurement of materials.
– Draw up a plan, decide on a story.
– Acting out the play.
– Overcoming difficulties.
– Introducing new ideas.
– Evaluation of these ideas, decision.
– Action of the game.
– Ending the game (in agreement or in dispute).
– Individual evaluation of the game (was nice / was stupid). An evaluation always takes place, even if the child does not comment on it.
– Reasons for this evaluation.
– (Internal or external) conclusion for further games („I won’t play with him again“, „I can’t do that“, „the game is boring“, etc.).

Practical suggestions:

    • Observe how the children master the different phases.
    • Evaluate what causes good play ideas to fail (again and again?). Work on these phases with the children, talk to them about the observed difficulties, reflect together with them; possibly give concrete help.
    • Work towards the children having as many experiences of success as possible (= beautiful play situations that were worth the effort and encourage them to continue playing).
    • Pay attention to differences in ability: Particularly gifted children can find themselves in a situation in the group where the game ideas, the course of the game and the game results only rarely satisfy them. This reduces their desire to engage in joint play. They need adequate play partners at least some of the time.

Concretisation 3:

The children give each other many impulses. However, this is not enough for the children to sufficiently understand themselves and their environment. The task of the adults, and thus also of the kindergarten teacher, is also and to a large extent to provide additional and well-considered stimuli for the children’s cognitive development.

Practical suggestions:

    • Activities and projects with a high cognitive content are important.
    • Involve experts (parents, grandparents, representatives of various professions and hobbies).
    • Provide materials for cognitive promotion: Thinking and strategy games, experimental material, collections of interesting things, books, reference books, internet, stories, puzzles, games with letters, numbers, abstract shapes….

Guideline 6:
Kindergarten teachers identify and plan cognitive development as a specific area of development.

Concretisation 1:

Cognitive development happens along the way. However, fostering children’s cognitive development requires paying special attention to this area. ‚Thinking tools‘ develop through use.

Practical suggestions:

    • Continually motivate children to reflect on what they have experienced, to question critically, to spin out ideas, to solve difficult tasks and puzzles.

Concretisation 2:

Cognitive promotion includes support in the acquisition of knowledge (factual and experiential knowledge) and the development of thinking skills. Both are important.

Practical suggestions:

    • Check the cognitive parts of games, tasks and other activities to see what new knowledge the children can acquire and to what extent they can use it to practise their thinking.
    • Enrich games and game ideas with additional cognitive stimuli, for example, vary the rules, do not read stories to the end but let the children think up a possible ending.

Concretisation 3:

Children reach very different levels of thinking and general knowledge at pre-school age. This may be due to different stimulation and support in the family and/or differences in giftedness.

Practical suggestions:

    • Determine for each child whether his or her general knowledge is particularly low or also particularly extensive. Give the parents feedback and tips for support.
    • Research for each child which levels of thinking they have mastered. (See Guideline 7.)
    • Formulate developmental goals.

Concretisation 4:

Develop elements for everyday life in the kindergarten that are particularly suitable for cognitive promotion.

Practical suggestions:

    • Regularly look at picture books and tell stories in small groups. Use the pictures and stories as a basis for conversation and ask questions of varying difficulty about the content in the conversations.
    • Frequently stimulate conversations on specific topics in the whole group or in small groups. Examples: „What is snow anyway?“ / „Where do eggs come from?“ / „What do you want for Christmas?“
    • Talk regularly and in detail in the group and in small groups about experiences in the kindergarten.
    • Give detailed information about plans and experiences that lie in the future so that the older children can form a mental image of them, which they can then compare with the real experiences.
    • Have children report on their activities: „How did you do that?“ / „Why did you do it that way?“ This encourages the children to mentally process their actions afterwards.
    • Work out rules for speaking in the group.

Guideline 7:
Cognitive promotion includes different levels of research, thinking and recognising.

Concretisation 1:

Accumulating knowledge and experience.

Practical suggestions:

    • Small or larger projects that aim at a result offer the best guarantee that knowledge and experiences are combined. Knowledge is experienced as applicable. Acquiring new knowledge seems to make sense in order to realise one’s own projects.
    • Projects should be used to ask and think from all sides and to seek new knowledge.

Concretisation 2: 

Understanding logical connections. Make causes and effects conscious and separate them mentally.

Practical suggestions:

    • Inquire in all kinds of situations. Have the children understood cause and effect?
    • Did they really understand why something (came) to be this way and not another way? Or why it has to be that way?

Concretisation 3:

Learning to understand causes and effects of their own behaviour and the behaviour of others. Learning to think strategically. (What can / must I do to achieve a goal?).

Practical suggestions:

    • In children’s assemblies, talk about conflicts, about behaviour and its effects. Offer explanatory patterns that the children can understand.
    • Pay attention to whether a child can already take the point of view of his/her counterpart.
    • Example: Why doesn’t Lisa want to play with Tina anymore? Have they both understood this cognitively?
    • Discuss strategies with children: What could I (Tina) do so that Lisa will play with me again tomorrow?

Concretisation 4:

(Critically) evaluate things and processes. Give reasons for the evaluation.

Practical suggestions:

    • Take children’s evaluations and judgements seriously, value their power of judgement.
    • Encourage children to give evaluations.
    • Children do not always have to justify their evaluations, but they should be able to learn to do so. It increases their ability to influence, they appear competent when they can do it well.

Concretisation 5:
Use imagination; develop own ideas. Think creatively and divergently.

Practical suggestions:

    • A creative thinking process often starts with a good question or a good story. Ask questions that stimulate thinking.
    • Make imaginary journeys.
    • Think up play situations, stories.
    • Find variations: Re-texting songs, changing stories.
    • Use role play and theatre play to develop imagination.

Concretisation 6:
Present own ideas, stories, experiences, put them up for discussion.

Practical suggestions:

    • In order to experience that others find their ideas good, the children should learn to present them well. Some children have a natural talent for this, others need a lot of encouragement and practice.
    • Pay attention to understandable, precise expression, help the children with this.
    • Practise self-confidence (posture, eye contact, use of voice…).
    • Guide the children to be brief in certain situations, to say what is important.
    • Help the children to overcome fear of failure or embarrassment. A good way to do this is to organise a series of small successes.

Concretisation 7:

Learning to think more and more complexly. Complexly grasp several features of situations.

Practical suggestions:

    • In many situations use sentences such as: „But that could also be the reason.“ / „And what does that have to do with it?“ / „But it is also important what the child was thinking.“ / „And the wind, can that also be important in this?“
    • Play games where several features (e.g. colour, shape and size) need to be considered at the same time.

Guideline 8:
Cognitive enhancement is best achieved with content that interests the children.

Concretisation 1:

Of interest are things, activities and topics that are currently significant for the children’s lives.

Practical suggestions:

    • Many things that are related to kindergarten attendance,
    • events in the family,
    • with the imminent start of school,
    • friendships, conflicts, dissatisfaction among the children, etc.
    • and many other things.

Concretisation 2:

Of interest are things, activities and topics that are skillfully and excitingly presented by others (children or adults).
Children can develop their thinking skills on any topic / area of knowledge.

Practical suggestions:

    • Children are curious by nature, they want to understand, grasp, try out, imitate, experience new things.
    • In their work with the children, the kindergarten teachers should focus on things and topics which they themselves are fascinated by. Then they can also engage the children.
    • Look for suitable experts, create a file of experts. Suitable experts are those who are confident in their work, in their field, who are enthusiastic themselves, who can explain things well and simply, who have a sense of humour, who get on well with children, who are likeable to the children.
    • Children who can do something that interests the others and who can show / teach it to the other children are also experts.


Guideline 9:
Cognitive promotion also means: letting children participate in how others solve problems by thinking.

Concretisation 1:

Children learn from other children in the group and from the kindergarten teachers how they use their „thinking tools“.

Practical suggestions:

    • Make it possible for the children to experience their own thinking processes.
    • The kindergarten teacher explains how she came to a conclusion or decision, for example: „At first I was going to do it like this, but then I realised that it doesn’t work like that, so I had to think about it some more…“.
    • Encourage the children to also let their thinking processes come out. Questions like: „How did you come up with that?“ / „How did you think of that?“ / „How do you know?“.
    • The kindergarten teacher lets the children know where she got her information (for example, on a project topic). „I got it from this book.“ / „I called the fire brigade and the man on the phone told me…“.

Guideline 10:
Cognitive enhancement involves teaching and developing cognitive „tools“.

Concretisation 1:

Investigate and explore things.

Practical suggestions:

    • Provide a variety of materials and tools – including things (discarded equipment from parents or from the bulky waste) that can be taken apart. Consider the safety of the children!

Concretisation 2:
Use tools sensibly.

Practical suggestions:

    • Teach the children to use pencils, scissors and glue, for example, but also many other tools sensibly and skilfully, for example scales, the telephone, hammer and pliers…

Concretisation 3:
Make and check assumptions, experiment.

Practical suggestions:

    • Ask the children to make assumptions, for example, about which objects can float and which cannot, and what the reasons might be.
    • Carry out simple scientific or technical experiments with the children; make assumptions that can be checked in the experiment.

Concretisation 4:

Thinking about the future; planning and making plans. Weighing up risks.

Practical suggestions:

    • Thinking together about what can / must be done to achieve a certain goal and in what order it should be done. Consider who can do what best.
    • Consider what could go wrong, what could be difficult and what can be done then.
    • Consider what can be done preventively to avoid mishaps.

Concretisation 5:

Exchange knowledge and ideas, collate, discuss, possibly coordinate.

Practical suggestions:

    • Collect all knowledge on a topic, a task, a problem. Motto: Together we know more.
    • Get to know brainstorming as a method. All ideas are first listened to on an equal footing, even the seemingly crazy and strange ones. Only then is it considered and decided which ideas should be realised.

Concretisation 6:

Ask questions, gather knowledge.

Practical suggestions:

    • It is good for the children to experience how adults make themselves smart by asking questions (role model effect).
    • Children should be made aware at an early age that you don’t have to know everything, but that it is good to know methods for acquiring knowledge in a targeted way. (Ask other people, ask experts, look in books and on the internet).

Concretisation 7:

Record ideas and results. Draw plans.

Practical suggestions:

    • Make first experiences in drawing plans: What is in the outdoor area and where it is; how the rooms are situated one behind the other; the own way to the kindergarten.
    • Draw play plans and bouncy boxes on the floor.
    • Design a table duty roster or similar so that children can „read“ it.
    • Using boxes that can be ticked, record how many days are left until the overnight stay in the kindergarten or until another highlight of the kindergarten year.
    • Create a picture book together from a story that the children have made up themselves, which can be taken to hand again and again – and thus attach great value to the story.
    • Before baking biscuits, draw the recipe so that the children can find their way independently.

Concretisation 8:

    • Actively support early numeracy, literacy and/or writing. These are important cognitive tools – and some children strive to acquire these tools early on their own accord.
    • It frustrates particularly gifted children when parents and kindergarten teachers exclude these areas from support for fear of doing something wrong. Schools must be expected to adapt to the different developmental levels of children.

Practical suggestions:

    • Keep letters and numbers accessible to children from different materials (wood, as puzzles, as magnetic figures…).
    • Write words and sentences that are important in everyday kindergarten life and that might interest the children in large block letters.
    • Tell children who are interested the names of the letters and explain what sound they stand for.
    • Write down words or set counting and arithmetic tasks for children who are interested.
    • Confirm the drawing of letters and numbers as positively as the drawing of, for example, flowers or rockets.
    • Play rhyming games.
    • Look for words beginning with A, O, D, etc.
    • Let children read who can already read. They want to use and build on the newly learned skill.

Guideline 11:
Internal differentation must be possible.

Concretisation 1:
Both intensive discussions and certain offers and project work are best realised when staffing and rooms allow small groups to play and learn together undisturbed.

Practical suggestions:

    • Do small group work whenever possible.
    • Support different group compositions for activities and project work: according to interest, ability, sympathy, prior knowledge…

Concretisation 2:

Provide targeted support for children who think and acquire knowledge particularly slowly and effortfully (and perhaps already reluctantly).

Practical suggestions:

    • Adjust activities and questions to the level and pace of the children so that they achieve success for themselves and do not lose (or perhaps rediscover) the fun of thinking.

Concretisation 3:

Provide targeted support for children who think and aquire knowledge particularly quickly, easily and effectively.

Practical suggestions:

    • Adjust activities and questions to the level and pace of the children so that they are sufficiently challenged and do not lose the fun of thinking.
    • Don’t shy away from particularly challenging activities; for example, demanding roles in drama, difficult experiments, organising birthday parties independently, depending on the children’s talents.

Guideline 12:
Exploring the wider environment must be possible.

Concretisation 1:
The district, the village, the surrounding nature, the nearest forest offer inexhaustible stimuli for the children’s cognitive development.

Practical suggestions:

    • Make many excursions and explorations.
    • Talk intensively and humorously about what you all have seen and experienced.
    • Draw inspiration for further knowledge acquisition from what you and the children have experienced: What did we not understand? What do we still want to find out? Who can we ask?
    • The kindergarten environment is full of experts. Many of them are happy to explain to the children what they are doing if you go and ask nicely. (The forest worker with the tree-clearing machine; the florist who makes bouquets or wreaths; the stonemason next to the cemetery, the old woman who sweeps the pavement…).

Concretisation 2:
Exploratory walks with some children („Let’s see what we discover“) should be possible spontaneously and without difficulties.

Practical suggestions:

    • Parents should know that going out without prior notice is part of the kindergarten’s concept.
    • Opportunities should be able to be used spontaneously. („I saw that the roof is being tiled on the building site.“ / „… that the farmer is just taking the potatoes out of the ground. We can go and pick up potatoes and cook them later.“)

Guideline 13:
Cooperation with parents is important.

Concretisation 1:
Parents of kindergarten children have an overwhelming importance in the cognitive development of their children. What is missed at an early age is difficult to make up for later.

Practical suggestions:

    • Parents should, if necessary, always be reminded of the importance of daily detailed conversations with their children.
    • Parents should always be given tips on what they can / must teach and explain to their children.
    • Books and games from the kindergarten can be borrowed by parents.

Concretisation 2:

In kindergarten we only experience a section of the children’s cognitive abilities and interests.

Practical suggestions:

    • In conversation with parents, kindergarten teachers can add to the picture of the child and his or her cognitive interests. Some children hide certain cognitive abilities (for example, being able to read) or certain interests because they believe that there is no room for it in kindergarten.


Date of publication in German: October 2021
Copyright © Hanna Vock, see imprint.

Kognitive Förderung in der Kita. Wissen gewinnen, Denken trainieren

von Hanna Vock


Der nachfolgende Artikel wurde 2004 geschrieben und in einer Tagungsdokumentation veröffentlicht. Der Anlass war die Tagung „Das kompetente Kind. Zwischen Bildungs(ver)planung und Eigendynamik“. Die Tagung wurde veranstaltet von der Abteilung Tageseinrichtungen für Kinder im Diözesan-Caritasverband für das Erzbistum Köln.
Die Struktur „Leitlinie – Konkretisierung – Praktische Anregungen“ war von der Tagungsleitung vorgegeben, die Inhalte stammen von mir.
2021 wurde der Text von mir leicht überarbeitet.

(Hier finden Sie den ursprünglichen Text in Tabellenform.)

Kurz nach der Veröffentlichung der Tagungsdokumentation rief mich eine Kita-Leiterin an und berichtete, dass sich ihr Team bei einem Team-Tag gründlich durch den Artikel durchgearbeitet habe. Die Kolleginnen haben danach einhellig festgestellt, dass es im Team nun eine viel klarere und einheitlichere Auffassung von kognitiver Förderung gebe und dass sie viele Anregungen in der zukünftigen Arbeit umsetzen bzw. stärker beachten wollen.

Siehe auch: Checkliste: Kognitive Förderung

Diese Idee,
mit dem Artikel im Team zu arbeiten,
gebe ich hier gerne weiter.

Und hier beginnt der Artikel:

Denken macht Spaß
Kognitive Förderung in der Tageseinrichtung für Kinder

Was ich gern tue, tue ich gut. Den Kindern den Spaß, die Freude am eigenständigen Denken zu erhalten und sie bei der Entwicklung ihrer Denkfähigkeiten zu unterstützen, ist eine wichtige und faszinierende Aufgabe für Erzieherinnen und Erzieher im Rahmen einer ganzheitlichen Förderung. Nebenbei kann das auch zum späteren Schulerfolg der Kinder beitragen.

Hier zunächst eine grobe Übersicht über die Leitlinien, die weiter unten konkretisiert und mit praktischen Anregungen versehen werden:

Grundvoraussetzungen für die Entwicklung
1. Respektvolles Interesse am Denken der Kinder als pädagogische Grundhaltung
2. Gute kognitive Förderung braucht Humor
3. Das Äußern von Gedanken braucht eine vertrauensvolle Atmosphäre
4. Ausdrucksmöglichkeiten entwickeln

Lernbedingungen für die kognitive Entwicklung
5. Die kognitive Förderung ist eingebettet in ganzheitliches Tun der Kinder
6. Erzieher*innen erfassen und planen die kognitive Förderung als spezifischen Förderbereich
7. Kognitive Förderung umfasst verschiedene Ebenen des Forschens, Denkens und Erkennens
8. Kognitive Förderung gelingt am besten an Inhalten, die die Kinder interessieren.
9. Kognitive Förderung bedeutet auch: Kinder daran teilhaben lassen, wie Andere Probleme durch Nachdenken lösen
10. Kognitive Förderung umfasst das Vermitteln und Entwickeln von kognitivem „Handwerkszeug“

Strukturelle Bedingungen
11. Innere Differenzierung muss möglich sein
12. Das Erkunden der weiteren Umgebung muss möglich sein
13. Zusammenarbeit mit den Eltern ist wichtig

Und hier beginnen die Konkretisierungen und die praktischen Anregungen: 


Leitlinie 1:
Respektvolles Interesse am Denken der Kinder als Grundhaltung

Konkretisierung 1:

Das Denken der Kinder ist nicht von außen sichtbar. Wir können davon ausgehen, dass sich jedes Kind jeden Tag interessante Gedanken macht.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Für die Ideen, Gedanken und Themen der Kinder Interesse zeigen, danach fragen.
    • Dem Gespräch mit den Kindern viel Zeit und Raum geben.

Konkretisierung 2:

Die eigenständigen Gedanken der Kinder als wichtigen Ausdruck ihres Lernens, ihrer Auseinandersetzung mit der Umwelt auffassen. Die Gedanken der Kinder geben Aufschluss über ihren Entwicklungsprozess.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Das eigenständige Denken der Kinder ernst nehmen und wertschätzen.
    • Wenn Kinder ihre Ideen und Gedanken äußern, können wir sie mit unseren Förderimpulsen „da abholen, wo sie stehen“.
    • Die Ideen der Kinder aufgreifen, sie mit ihnen diskutieren und ihnen helfen, sie zu verwirklichen.
    • Die Gedanken der Kinder geben Aufschluss darüber, wie gut sie das Geschehen im Kindergarten und in ihrer sonstigen Umwelt verstehen.
    • Die geäußerten Gedanken des Kindes in die Entwicklungsdiagnostik einbeziehen.

Konkretisierung 3:

Zugang zu den Gedanken der Kinder finden, heißt zu erfahren, was sie kognitiv und emotional bewegt.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Die emotionalen Anteile und die kognitiven Anteile der geäußerten Gedanken beachten.
    • Den Kindern respektvolle Rückmeldungen geben. Sich durch Rückfragen vergewissern, ob sie richtig verstanden wurden.


Leitlinie 2:
Gute Kognitive Förderung braucht Humor

Konkretisierung 1:

Denken macht Spaß, wenn es nicht angestrengt und verbissen geschieht, sondern leicht und locker.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Fehler machen muss erlaubt sein.
    • Niederlagen, Misserfolge, Irrtümer bringen keine Schelte ein, sondern Trost.
    • Als Erzieher*in mit eigenem Nichtwissen, mit Irrtümern oder Misserfolgen ohne Verlegenheit vor den Kinder umgehen.

Konkretisierung 2:

Nicht alles schon vorher wissen wollen. Denken und Forschen haben immer ein offenes Ende; Überraschungen sind möglich und machen einen großen Teil des Reizes aus.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Für viele Fragen und Probleme gibt es verschiedene gute Antworten und Lösungen. Keiner kennt sie alle. Offen bleiben!
    • Spaß am Entdecken zulassen und nach Möglichkeit selber empfinden.

Konkretisierung 3:

Denken ist lustig, wenn wir beim Denken lustig sind.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Eine Atmosphäre schaffen, in der gutmütige Scherze und Witze ihren Platz haben. Gute Scherze und Witze schulen das Denkvermögen. Einen Witz zu verstehen oder sogar selber auszudenken, setzt voraus, das Unerwartete, das Groteske, das Lustige an einer Situation zu erfassen.


Leitlinie 3:
Das Äußern von Gedanken braucht eine vertrauensvolle Atmosphäre

Konkretisierung 1:

Auch schüchterne und noch unsichere Kinder sollen die Möglichkeit erhalten, ihre Gedanken zu äußern. Dazu braucht das Kind stabiles Vertrauen zu den Zuhörern.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Auslachen und abwertende Bemerkungen nicht zulassen.
    • Kindern beim Ausdrücken ihrer Gedanken durch Aufmerksamkeit, Ruhe, Geduld und behutsames Nachfragen helfen.
    • Die Aussage des unsicheren Kindes positiv wiederholen.
    • Schüchterne Kinder zum Sprechen auffordern, wenn die Vermutung besteht, dass sie jetzt im Moment etwas beitragen könnten.

Konkretisierung 2:

Auch ungewöhnliche, vom Mainstream abweichende Gedanken dürfen geäußert werden. Dazu braucht das Kind das Vertrauen in die Erzieher*in, dass sie auch solche Gedanken wichtig findet.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Abweichende, unkonventionelle Gedanken herausfordern.
    • Häufig fragen: Könnte es auch noch ganz anders sein, könnten wir es auch anders machen?
    • Gute ungewöhnliche Ideen bestätigen.


Leitlinie 4:
Ausdrucksmöglichkeiten entwickeln

Konkretisierung 1:

Kinder können ihre Gedanken nur äußern, wenn sie über angemessene Ausdrucksmöglichkeiten verfügen. Die Kommunikation, das Gespräch, der Ideen- und Gedankenaustausch zwischen Kind, Gruppe und Erzieher*in ist umso reicher, je differenzierter die Ausdrucksmöglichkeiten sind.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Förderung der Lautsprache.
    • Förderung der Körpersprache, der Mimik und Gestik.
    • Förderung der Mal- und Zeichenfähigkeiten.

Leitlinie 5:
Die kognitive Förderung ist eingebettet in ganzheitliches Tun der Kinder

Konkretisierung 1:

Jedes Spiel, jede Arbeit, jede Tätigkeit hat kognitive Anteile.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Ins Spiel versunkene Kinder, aktiv und begeistert spielende Kinder, nachdenkende Kinder nicht stören. Sie lernen intensiv.
    • Kindern große, unzerteilte Zeiträume zum freien Spielen sichern.
    • Kindern helfen, ihre eigenen Ideen umzusetzen.

Konkretisierung 2:

Jedes Spiel, jede Aktivität hat verschiedene Phasen, die geistige Tätigkeit verlangen:
– Aufkommen des Spielwunschs und erste Spielidee.
– Evtl. Kontaktaufnahme zu anderen Kindern und Werbung für die Idee.
– Aushandeln und Konkretisieren der Idee, Aushandeln von Regeln und/oder Rollen.
– Beschaffung von Material.
– Aufstellen eines Planes, Festlegen einer Geschichte.
– Spielhandlung.
– Überwinden von Schwierigkeiten.
– Einbringen neuer Ideen.
– Bewertung dieser Ideen, Entscheidung.
– Spielhandlung.
– Beendigung des Spiels (im Einvernehmen oder im Streit).
– Individuelle Bewertung des Spiels (war schön / war doof). Eine Bewertung findet immer statt, auch wenn sich das Kind nicht dazu äußert.
– Begründung dieser Bewertung.
– (Innere oder äußere) Schlussfolgerung für weitere Spiele („Mit dem spiel ich nicht mehr“, „das kann ich nicht“, „das Spiel ist langweilig“, usw.).

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Beobachten, wie die Kinder die unterschiedlichen Phasen meistern.
    • Beurteilen, woran gute Spielideen (immer wieder?) scheitern. Diese Phasen mit den Kindern bearbeiten, mit ihnen über die beobachteten Schwierigkeiten sprechen, mit ihnen gemeinsam nachdenken; evtl. konkrete Hilfestellung geben.
    • Darauf hinarbeiten, dass die Kinder sich insgesamt möglichst viele Erfolgserlebnisse erspielen (= schöne Spielsituationen, die die aufgewendete Mühe wert waren und zum Weiterspielen reizen).
    • Begabungsunterschiede beachten: Besonders begabte Kinder können in der Gruppe in die Lage geraten, dass die Spielideen, die Spielverläufe und die Spielergebnisse sie nur selten befriedigen. Dies mindert ihre Lust, sich auf gemeinsames Spiel einzulassen. Sie brauchen wenigstens zeitweise adäquate Spielpartner.

Konkretisierung 3:

Viele Impulse geben sich die Kinder gegenseitig. Dies reicht aber für die Kinder nicht aus, um sich selbst und ihre Umwelt hinreichend zu begreifen. Die Aufgabe der Erwachsenen und damit auch der Erzieher*in ist auch und in starkem Maße, zusätzliche und gut überlegte Impulse für die kognitive Entwicklung der Kinder zu geben.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Angebote und Projekte mit hohem kognitivem Anteil sind wichtig.
    • Experten einbeziehen (Eltern, Großeltern, Vertreter diverser Berufe und Hobbys).
    • Materialien zur kognitiven Förderung bereitstellen: Denk- und Strategiespiele, Experimentiermaterial, Sammlungen interessanter Dinge, Bücher, Nachschlagewerke, Internet, Geschichten, Rätsel, Spiele mit Buchstaben, Zahlen, abstrakten Formen…


Leitlinie 6:
Erzieher*innen erfassen und Planen die kognitive Förderung als spezifischen Förderbereich

Konkretisierung 1:

Kognitive Entwicklung passiert nebenbei. Die kognitive Entwicklung der Kinder zu fördern, erfordert aber, diesem Bereich besondere Beachtung zu schenken. Die „Denkwerkzeuge“ entwickeln sich durch Benutzung.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Die Kinder immer wieder zum Nachdenken über Erlebtes, zum kritischen Hinterfragen, zum Ideen ausspinnen, zum Lösen von schwierigen Aufgaben und Rätseln motivieren.

Konkretisierung 2:

Zur kognitiven Förderung gehören die Unterstützung beim Wissenserwerb (Fakten- und Erfahrungswissen) und die Entwicklung der Denkfähigkeit. Beides ist wichtig.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Die kognitiven Anteile von Spielen, Aufgaben und anderen Aktivitäten daraufhin prüfen, welches neue Wissen die Kinder erwerben können und inwieweit sie daran ihr Denken üben können.
    • Spiele und Spielideen mit zusätzlichen kognitiven Anreizen anreichern, zum Beispiel Regeln variieren, Geschichten nicht bis zum Schluss vorlesen, sondern von den Kindern einen möglichen Schluss ausdenken lassen.

Konkretisierung 3:

Die Kinder erreichen im Vorschulalter sehr unterschiedliche Denkniveaus und ein sehr unterschiedliches Allgemeinwissen. Dies kann auf unterschiedliche Anregung und Förderung in der Familie und/oder auf Begabungsunterschiede zurückzuführen sein.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Für jedes Kind feststellen, ob sein Allgemeinwissen besonders gering oder auch besonders umfangreich ist. Den Eltern Rückmeldungen und Tipps zur Förderung geben.
    • Für jedes Kind erforschen, welche Denk-Ebenen es beherrscht. (Siehe Leitlinie 7.)
    • Entwicklungsziele formulieren.

Konkretisierung 4:

Für den Alltag in der Kindertagesstätte Elemente entwickeln, die besonders zur kognitiven Förderung geeignet sind.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Regelmäßiges Bilderbuchbetrachten und Geschichtenerzählen in kleinen Gruppen. Die Bilder und Geschichten als Gesprächsgrundlage nutzen und in den Gesprächen unterschiedlich schwierige Fragen zu den Inhalten stellen.
    • Häufig in der Gruppe oder in Kleingruppen Gespräche zu bestimmten Themen anregen. Beispiele: „Was ist eigentlich Schnee?“ / „Wo kommen die Eier her?“ / „Was wünscht ihr euch zu Weihnachten?“
    • Regelmäßig und ausführlich in der Gruppe und in Kleingruppen über Erlebnisse in der Kindertagesstätte sprechen.
    • Zu Vorhaben und Erlebnissen, die in der Zukunft liegen, ausführliche Informationen geben, damit die älteren Kinder sich im Geiste eine Vorstellung davon machen können, die sie dann mit den realen Erlebnissen vergleichen können.
    • Kinder über ihre Tätigkeiten berichten lassen: „Wie hast du das gemacht?“ / „Warum hast du das so gemacht?“ Das regt die Kinder an, ihr Tun nachträglich noch mal geistig zu verarbeiten.
    • Regeln für das Sprechen in der Gruppe erarbeiten.


Leitlinie 7:
Kognitive Förderung umfasst verschiedene Ebenen des Forschens, Denkens und Erkennens

Konkretisierung 1:

Wissen und Erfahrungen ansammeln.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Kleine oder größere Projekte, die auf ein Ergebnis  hinzielen, bieten beste Gewähr dafür, dass sich Wissen und Erfahrungen miteinander verbinden. Wissen wird als anwendbar erlebt. Erwerb von neuem Wissen erscheint sinnvoll, um die eigenen Vorhaben zu verwirklichen.
    • Projekte sollten genutzt werden, nach allen Seiten zu fragen und zu denken und neues Wissen zu suchen.

Konkretisierung 2: 

Logische Zusammenhänge verstehen. Ursachen und Wirkungen bewusst machen und gedanklich trennen.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • In allen möglichen Situationen nachfragen. Haben die Kinder Ursache und Wirkung verstanden?
    • Haben sie wirklich verstanden, warum etwas so und nicht anders (gekommen) ist? Oder warum das so sein muss?

Konkretisierung 3:

Ursachen und Wirkungen des eigenen Verhaltens und des Verhaltens Anderer verstehen lernen. Strategisch denken lernen. (Was kann / muss ich tun, um ein Ziel zu erreichen?)

Praktische Anregungen:

    • In Kinderversammlungen über Konflikte, über Verhalten und seine Wirkungen sprechen. Erklärungsmuster anbieten, die die Kinder nachvollziehen können.
    • Darauf achten, ob ein Kind schon den Blickwinkel seines Gegenübers einnehmen kann.
    • Beispiel: Warum hat Lisa jetzt keine Lust mehr, mit Tina zu spielen? Haben beide das auch kognitiv verstanden?
    • Mit Kindern Strategien beraten: Was könnte ich (Tina) tun, damit Lisa morgen doch wieder mit mir spielt?

Konkretisierung 4:

Dinge und Vorgänge (kritisch) bewerten. Die Bewertung begründen.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Die Bewertungen und Urteile von Kindern Ernst nehmen, ihre Urteilskraft Wert schätzen.
    • Kinder zum Abgeben von Bewertungen ermutigen.
    • Kinder müssen ihre Bewertungen nicht immer begründen, aber sie sollten lernen können, es zu tun. Es erhöht ihre Einflussmöglichkeiten, sie wirken kompetent, wenn sie es gut können.

Konkretisierung 5:
Fantasie einsetzen; eigene Ideen entwickeln. Kreativ und divergent denken.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Am Anfang eines kreativen Denkprozesses steht oft eine gute Frage oder eine gute Geschichte. Fragen stellen, die zum Denken anregen.
    • Fantasiereisen machen.
    • Spielsituationen, Geschichten ausdenken.
    • Variationen finden: Lieder neu texten, Geschichten verändern.
    • Rollenspiel und Theaterspiel zur Fantasie-Entwicklung nutzen.

Konkretisierung 6:
Eigene Ideen, Geschichten, Erlebnisse präsentieren, zur Diskussion stellen.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Um zu erleben, dass Andere ihre Ideen gut finden, sollten die Kinder lernen, sie gut darzustellen. Manche Kinder haben dafür ein Naturtalent, andere brauchen viel Ermutigung und Übung.
    • Auf verständliche, präzise Ausdrucksweise achten, den Kindern dabei helfen.
    • Selbstbewusstes Auftreten üben (Körperhaltung, Blickkontakt, Stimmeinsatz…)
    • Die Kinder anleiten, sich in bestimmten Situationen kurz fassen, das Wesentliche zu sagen.
    • Den Kindern helfen, Angst vor Versagen oder Blamage zu überwinden. Ein gutes Mittel dafür: eine Serie kleiner Erfolgserlebnisse organisieren.

Konkretisierung 7:

Immer komplexer denken lernen. Mehrere Merkmale von Situationen komplex erfassen.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • In vielen Situationen Sätze gebrauchen wie: „Das könnte aber auch daher kommen.“ / „Und was hat das damit zu tun?“ / „Aber es ist doch auch wichtig, was sich das Kind dabei gedacht hat.“ / „Und der Wind, kann der dabei auch wichtig sein?“
    • Spiele spielen, bei denen mehrere Merkmale (z.B. Farbe, Form und Größe) gleichzeitig berücksichtigt werden müssen.


Leitlinie 8:
Kognitive Förderung gelingt am besten an Inhalten, die die Kinder interessieren.

Konkretisierung 1:

Von Interesse sind Dinge, Tätigkeiten und Themen, die für das Leben der Kinder aktuell bedeutsam sind.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Vieles was mit dem Kindergartenbesuch zusammenhängt,
    • mit Ereignissen in der Familie,
    • mit der bevorstehenden Einschulung,
    • mit Freundschaften, Konflikten, Unzufriedenheiten unter den Kindern
    • und vieles andere.

Konkretisierung 2:

Von Interesse sind Dinge, Tätigkeiten und Themen, die von Anderen (Kindern oder Erwachsenen) gekonnt und spannend dargebracht werden.
Kinder können an jedem beliebigen Thema / Wissensgebiet ihre Denkfähigkeiten weiterentwickeln.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Kinder sind von Natur aus neugierig, sie wollen verstehen, begreifen, ausprobieren, nachahmen, Neues erfahren.
    • Die Erzieher*in sollte sich in ihrer Arbeit mit den Kindern auf Dinge und Themen konzentrieren, die sie selbst faszinieren. Dann kann sie auch die Kinder mitreißen.
    • Geeignete Experten suchen, eine Expertenkartei anlegen. Geeignet sind Experten, die ihre Tätigkeit, ihr Feld sicher beherrschen, selbst begeistert sind, gut und einfach erklären können, Humor haben, mit Kindern gut in Kontakt kommen, den Kindern sympathisch sind.
    • Auch Kinder, die etwas können, was die anderen interessiert, und die es den anderen Kindern zeigen / beibringen können, sind Experten.


Leitlinie 9:
Kognitive Förderung bedeutet auch: Kinder daran teilhaben lassen, wie Andere Probleme durch Nachdenken lösen.

Konkretisierung 1:

Die Kinder lernen von anderen Kindern der Gruppe und von den Erzieher*innen, wie diese ihre „Denkwerkzeuge“ benutzen.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Eigene Denkprozesse für die Kinder erfahrbar machen. Die Erzieher*in erklärt, wie sie zu einer Schlussfolgerung oder Entscheidung gekommen ist, zum Beispiel: „Erst hatte ich vor, das so zu machen, aber dann habe ich gemerkt, dass es so gar nicht geht, und da musste ich weiter überlegen…“
    • Die Kinder ermutigen, auch ihre Denkvorgänge nach außen zu lassen. Dafür helfen Fragen wie: „Wie bist du darauf gekommen?“ / „Wie hast du dir das gedacht?“ / „Woher weißt du das?“
    • Die Erzieher*in lässt die Kinder wissen, woher sie selbst ihre Informationen (zum Beispiel zu einem Projektthema) bezogen hat. „Das habe ich aus diesem Buch.“ / „Ich habe bei der Feuerwehr angerufen, und da hat mir der Mann am Telefon erzählt…“


Leitlinie 10:
Kognitive Förderung umfasst das Vermitteln und Entwickeln von kognitivem „Handwerkszeug“.

Konkretisierung 1:

Dinge untersuchen und erforschen.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Vielfältiges Material und unterschiedliche Werkzeuge bereit stellen – auch immer wieder Dinge (ausrangierte Geräte von Eltern oder vom Sperrmüll), die auseinander genommen werden dürfen. Sicherheit der Kinder bedenken!

Konkretisierung 2:
Werkzeuge sinnvoll benutzen.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Die Kinder anleiten, zum Beispiel mit Stiften, Schere und Klebstoff, aber auch mit vielen anderen Geräten sinnvoll und geschickt umzugehen, zum Beispiel mit Waagen, mit dem Telefon, mit Hammer und Zange…

Konkretisierung 3:
Vermutungen anstellen und überprüfen, experimentieren.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Die Kinder auffordern, Vermutungen anzustellen, zum Beispiel darüber, welche Gegenstände schwimmen können und welche nicht und woran das liegen könnte.
    • Einfache naturwissenschaftliche oder technische Experimente mit den Kindern durchführen; Vermutungen anstellen, die man im Experiment überprüfen kann.

Konkretisierung 4:

In die Zukunft denken; planen und planvoll vorgehen. Risiken abwägen.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Gemeinsam überlegen, was getan werden kann / muss, um ein bestimmtes Ziel zu erreichen, und in welcher Reihenfolge es getan werden sollte. Überlegen, wer was am besten tun kann.
    • Überlegen, was schief gehen könnte, was schwierig werden könnte und was man dann tun kann.
    • Überlegen, was man vorbeugend tun kann, um Pannen zu vermeiden.

Konkretisierung 5:

Wissen und Ideen austauschen, zusammentragen, diskutieren, evtl. abstimmen.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Zu einem Thema, einer Aufgabe, einem Problem alles Wissen zusammentragen. Motto: Zusammen wissen wir mehr.
    • Brainstorming als Methode kennenlernen. Alle Ideen werden erstmal gleichberechtigt angehört, auch die scheinbar verrückten und seltsamen. Erst danach wird überlegt und entschieden, welche Ideen verwirklicht werden sollen.

Konkretisierung 6:

Fragen stellen, Wissen sammeln.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Es ist gut für die Kinder, wenn sie erleben, wie die Erwachsenen sich durch Fragenstellen schlau machen (Vorbildwirkung).
    • Kinder sollten früh damit vertraut gemacht werden, dass man nicht alles wissen muss, dass es aber gut ist, wenn man Methoden kennt, um sich Wissen gezielt zu verschaffen. (Andere Menschen fragen, Experten fragen, in Büchern und im Internet nachsehen.)

Konkretisierung 7:

Festhalten von Ideen und Ergebnissen. Pläne zeichnen.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Erste Erfahrungen im Zeichnen von Plänen machen: Was es alles im Außengelände gibt und wo das steht; Wie die Räume hintereinander liegen; der eigene Weg zum Kindergarten.
    • Spielpläne und Hinkelkästchen malen.
    • Einen Tischdienstplan oder ähnliches so gestalten, dass Kinder ihn „lesen“ können.
    • Mit Kästchen, die angekreuzt werden können, aufzeichnen, wie viele Tage es noch sind bis zur Übernachtung im Kindergarten oder bis zu einem anderen Höhepunkt des Kindergartenjahres.
    • Aus einer von Kindern selbst erdachten Geschichte gemeinsam ein Bilderbuch erstellen, das immer wieder zur Hand genommen werden kann –  und so der Geschichte einen großen Wert beimessen.
    • Vor dem Plätzchenbacken das Rezept aufmalen, so dass die Kinder sich selbstständig orientieren können.

Konkretisierung 8:

Frühes Rechnen, Lesen und/oder Schreiben aktiv unterstützen. Es sind wichtige kognitive Werkzeuge – und manche Kinder streben aus eigenem Antrieb früh danach, sich diese Werkzeuge anzueignen.
Es frustriert besonders begabte Kinder, wenn Eltern und Erzieher*innen aus Angst, etwas falsch zu machen, diese Bereiche aus der Förderung ausklammern. Von der Schule muss man erwarten können, dass sie sich auf unterschiedliche Entwicklungsstände von Kindern einstellt.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Buchstaben und Zahlen aus verschiedenen Materialien (Holz, als Puzzle, als Magnetfiguren…) für die Kinder zugänglich halten.
    • Worte und Sätze, die im Kindergartenalltag wichtig sind und die Kinder interessieren könnten, in großen Blockbuchstaben schreiben.
    • Kindern, die sich dafür interessieren, die Namen der Buchstaben sagen und erklären, für welchen Laut sie stehen.
    • Kindern, die sich dafür interessieren, Wörter aufschreiben oder Zähl- und Rechen-Aufgaben stellen.
    • Das Malen von Buchstaben und Zahlen genauso positiv bestätigen wie das Malen von zum Beispiel Blumen oder Raketen.
    • Reimspiele machen.
    • Wörter suchen, die mit A, O, D, usw. beginnen.
    • Kinder, die schon lesen können, lesen lassen. Sie wollen die neu erlernte Fähigkeit nutzen und ausbauen.


Leitlinie 11:
Innere Differenzierung muss möglich sein.

Konkretisierung 1:
Sowohl intensive Gespräche wie auch bestimmte Angebote und Projektarbeiten sind am besten zu verwirklichen, wenn Personalbesetzung und Räume es erlauben, dass kleine Gruppen ungestört zusammen spielen und lernen.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Kleingruppenarbeit machen, wann immer es möglich ist.
    • Bei Angeboten und Projektarbeiten unterschiedliche Gruppenzusammensetzungen unterstützen: nach Interesse, nach Fähigkeiten, nach Sympathie, nach Vorwissen…

Konkretisierung 2:

Die Kinder gezielt fördern, die besonders langsam und mühevoll (und vielleicht schon ungern) denken und Wissen erwerben.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Aktivitäten und Fragen auf das Niveau und das Tempo der Kinder einstellen, damit sie für sich Erfolge erzielen und den Spaß am Denken nicht verlieren (oder vielleicht auch wiederfinden).

Konkretisierung 3:

Die Kinder gezielt fördern, die besonders schnell, leicht und effektiv denken und neues Wissen erwerben.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Aktivitäten und Fragen auf das Niveau und das Tempo der Kinder einstellen, damit sie genügend herausgefordert werden und den Spaß am Denken nicht verlieren.
    • Keine Scheu vor besonders anspruchsvollen Angeboten; zum Beispiel anspruchsvolle Rollen beim Theaterspiel, schwierige Experimente, Geburtstagsfeier selbstständig organisieren, je nach den Talenten der Kinder.

Leitlinie 12:
Das Erkunden der weiteren Umgebung muss möglich sein.

Konkretisierung 1:
Der Stadtteil, das Dorf, die umgebende Natur, der nächste Wald bieten unerschöpfliche Anregungen zur kognitiven Förderung der Kinder.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Viele Ausflüge und Erkundungsgänge machen.
    • Über das Gesehene und Erlebte intensiv und humorvoll reden.
    • Aus dem Erlebten Anregungen für weiteren Wissenserwerb ziehen: Was haben wir nicht verstanden? Was wollen wir noch rausfinden? Wen können wir fragen?
    • Die Umgebung der Kita ist voller Experten. Viele von ihnen erklären den Kindern gerne, was sie da gerade tun, wenn man hingeht und freundlich fragt. (Der Waldarbeiter mit der Baumrodungsmaschine; die Floristin, die Blumensträuße oder Kränze bindet; der Steinmetz neben dem Friedhof, die alte Frau, die den Bürgersteig fegt…)

Konkretisierung 2:
Erkundungsgänge mit einigen Kindern („Mal gucken, was wir entdecken“) sollten spontan und ohne Schwierigkeiten möglich sein.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Die Eltern sollten wissen, dass das Rausgehen auch ohne Vorankündigung zum Konzept der Kita gehört.
    • Gelegenheiten sollten spontan genutzt werden können. („Ich habe gesehen, dass auf der Baustelle gerade das Dach gedeckt wird. / … dass der Bauer gerade die Kartoffeln aus der Erde holt. Wir können Kartoffeln aufsammeln gehen und nachher kochen.“)

Leitlinie 13:
Zusammenarbeit mit den Eltern ist wichtig.

Konkretisierung 1:
Die Eltern von Kindergartenkindern haben eine überragende Bedeutung für die kognitive Entwicklung ihrer Kinder. Was im frühen Alter versäumt wird, ist später nur schwer aufzuholen.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Eltern sollten, falls nötig, immer wieder auf die Bedeutung täglicher ausführlicher Gespräche mit ihren Kindern hingewiesen werden.
    • Eltern sollten immer wieder Tipps erhalten, was sie ihren Kindern beibringen und erklären können / müssen.
    • Bücher und Spiele aus dem Kindergarten können von Eltern ausgeliehen werden.

Konkretisierung 2:

Im Kindergarten erleben wir nur einen Ausschnitt der kognitiven Fähigkeiten und Interessen der Kinder.

Praktische Anregungen:

    • Im Gespräch mit den Eltern können Erzieher*innen das Bild vom Kind und seinen kognitiven Interessen ergänzen. Manche Kinder verbergen bestimmte kognitive Fähigkeiten (zum Beispiel Lesen können) oder auch bestimmte Interessen, weil sie glauben, dass im Kindergarten dafür kein Raum ist.


Datum der Veröffentlichung: Oktober 2021
Copyright © Hanna Vock, siehe Impressum.

Bastian (6;1) Comes Out of His Shell

by an IHVO graduate (kindergarten teacher)


Bastian (6;1), who is very articulate, knows a lot and wants to know a lot, clearly rejected strangers. He also tried to avoid larger groups of people (more than five people); this could look like Bastian not entering a room with strangers or many people, insulting the people or hiding.

Bastian has a very close relationship with Nicola, his best friend, but he did not make any closer contact with most of the children in the group for years.

In the course of the „What flies, rides and swims?“ group, Bastian’s social behaviour changed.

The group of eight children, which seemed suspicious to him at the beginning, became more and more a community in which he felt comfortable, in which he could make new experiences … and show off … could show off.

He enjoyed explaining things to the other children and the children of the AG listened to his mostly very vivid descriptions with pleasure.

See also: Bastian Is Explaining His Dream Car.

Towards the end of the AG time, he even began to help and motivate younger children.
For example, he suggested to a 3-year-old girl that she reshape her lump of modelling clay, which kept sinking in the water.
When it came to creating a car out of a large cardboard box, there was a huge rush, everyone wanted to paint the box – but Bastian let younger children go first.

I can’t say for sure to what extent Bastian’s changed behaviour is a result of the AG work; in any case, Bastian now reacts more relaxed to strangers and situations. In addition, he now allows other children to be close to him and to make contact with him, and his circle of friends has increased.
Such positive changes in behaviour could also be seen in other participants of the workshop, especially in the „kindergarten newcomers“ who were still very shy at the beginning.


Date of publication in German: February 2014
Copyright © Hanna Vock, see imprint


Bastian Is Explaining His Dream Car

by an IHVO graduate (kindergarten teacher).


Bastian (6;1) explains his dream car as part of our project „What flies, drives and swims?“.

I divided the children interested in the project into two groups; Bastian is in a group of 8 children.

In the project, we have already taken a closer look at the „inner workings“ of a car, especially how a petrol four-stroke engine works, and we have also looked at the technical side of cars through books, experiments and software.

Now we meet again and I say:
„Well, if I could build a car myself, if I were the car builder, my car would look different. I would build my dream car.
Do you feel like drawing your own dream car?“

The children feel like it, they all start immediately. I briefly point out the materials provided (pens, feathers, textiles, crown caps…) and can then observe in the background.

During the painting, the children don’t talk much – I had announced that they could present their works later. Without exception, all the children, but especially Bastian, go to work concentrated and with a lot of joy.

Unlike the other participating children, Bastian rolls up his finished picture and ties a bow around the roll. I ask why; he replies, „That’s my secret plan of the car, no one is allowed to see that.“

Knowing Bastian’s determination, I fear his dream car will indeed remain secret and no one will get to see it. I realise that I would have to accept that.

We sit down in a circle.

Emma describes her car like this: „In my car there is a lift. Then people can go up and down in it.“ When I ask what she would have drawn in black, she says, „That’s the dining table and those are chairs.“ Because her car is so heavy, she explains, it needs a lot of wheels; she has drawn them in green.

Nicola, Bastian’s best friend, has drawn lots of aliens inside his car. „They can all look out of the windows – and the ones in the front, they steer the car.“ One of the children wants to know if the aliens built the car themselves or bought it. Nicola answers, „They built the car themselves, you can’t buy that on Earth.“
I ask him what else the aliens built in or on the car. „At the very front,“ he says, „there’s a thick bar. If the aliens crash into ’something‘, the car still won’t break.“

Bastian shows great interest during this and the following descriptions and finally comes forward to introduce his picture after all.

His car is a very fast car, he says. „It has a hundred cylinders, here in the front (piston-like objects in the lower half of the picture) you can see some.“

Bastian shows the other children his drawn-in cylinders. „The car is also very strong,“ he points out proudly, „it can even drive through stone! I ask him how it manages that. „It’s quite simple, it has pointed screws with which it easily drills through stone,“ he answers and shows the pointed screws. (They can be seen at the top right of the picture.) „But they have to be activated,“ he adds.

At this time I point out one of our rules of conversation to the children: „You know that you can always ask questions if you want to know something more precisely.“ One of the boys wants to know what „activate“ means. Bastian explains the term as follows: „When the car hits stone, the drills come out and drill the stones.“

I’m still interested in whether the car needs a lot of petrol. „No, it’s wind-powered. It only needs petrol when there is no wind,“ Bastian answers. I ask the other children if they know what „wind-powered“ means; most of the children shake their heads and Bastian explains: „When there’s wind, the car can drive like a sailing ship. It has lots and lots of sails.“ He shows the sails and explains that the car also has a propeller. It can also drive under water.

„Is it driving under water right now?“ asks a child. Bastian answers, „Yes, you can see it well!“ and points to the blue drawing.

I want to know what the one in the lower right corner of the picture is. Bastian: „That’s a cogwheel that digs itself into the sand when there’s a strong water current.“ „Why does it do that?“ I ask. He explains: „When the water current is so strong, the ship drifts. When the gear digs into the sand, that doesn’t happen!“

„You’ve thought of a lot, Bastian!“ I say and ask who is driving the dream car. „Like the Nicola, aliens live in it; the bedroom windows are up there. So even when you’re lying in bed, you can ‚look out‘.“

After this remark Bastian rolls up his picture again, the presentation of his work is finished. However, he is very interested in the dream cars of the children who present their work after him.

See also: Bastian (6;1) Comes Out of His Shell


Date of publication in German: February 2014
Copyright © Hanna Vock, see imprint


Playful Mathematics at Kindergarten

 by Klaudia Kruszynski


Among the most popular children’s games are those that have to do with sorting, ordering, counting.

This preference can be explained by the development of the intellect. It can be observed in all children in kindergarten, although it is differently developed and advanced in different children.

Children use different objects for this purpose.

As an example, I can mention: sorting magnetic letters by colour or arranging them into two groups: Letters and numbers. Something similar happens with the plug-in games or bead chains.

If the children don’t feel like drawing, they sort the pencils by colour, length or whether they need to be sharpened or not.

In the circle of chairs, the children can tell if everyone is there without counting, without knowing how many are there. They recognise it by the fact that all the chairs are occupied. (One child is assigned to each chair.) Another relation is: There are many toothbrush cups in the washroom – each child has its own. But there is only one tube of toothpaste – it belongs to all the children.

Many party games make use of this preference. They are designed in such a way that the colour rolled is assigned a tile/pin/doll/field. These games are played by the youngest children until they recognise them as too simple and no longer want to play, or they come up with their own variations. For example, the game pieces are no longer placed, but stacked to form a pyramid. This is more difficult than going forward by colour. Some kindergartens don’t like to see this misuse because they are convinced that board games are good for learning rules. If you don’t follow the rules, you won’t be able to find your way in society later on.

I am convinced that people need a regulated world, of course, but a certain independence and flexibility are very desirable. They are, after all, the necessary prerequisite for further development and progress. A certain independence from rules, order structures, procedures, etc. indicates creativity.


As I mentioned at the beginning, many children have a preference, even an urge, to sort the objects around them. To do this, it is necessary to perceive one property (later several properties) of the object, and to recognise it in the other objects.

Examples with magnetic letters:

    • Put all letters of the same colour together,
    • Separate letters and numbers from each other,
    • Put all letters together, regardless of their colour,
    • Pick out all the letters that are in my name,
    • Choose the letter you want from the set,
    • Arrange the letters according to the alphabet (alphabet according to a template, e.g. from a book, or from memory, e.g. according to a song: „A, B, C, D, E, F, G…“),
    • Counting the letters together,
    • Compare the amount of the same letters: there are 5 times „A“, but only 2 times „X“,
    • Recognise the small „x“ as a „paint sign“, look for the other operation signs,
    • Arrange the numbers in ascending order,
    • Lay simple operations, for example 2 + 2 = 4,
    • Laying patterns.

Mirror images, symmetry

Some objects have a special property: they consist of two identical parts, e.g. the wings of a butterfly, but they are mirror-inverted next to each other. Some objects can be divided into two halves with an imaginary line, which are also mirror-inverted, e.g. a top hat.

Some letters also have this property:

– A, B, C, D, E, H, I, K, M, O, T, U, V, W, X, Y.

With the help of a mirror, children can explore it wonderfully.

I have developed a game for this:

On the small cards, the letters mentioned above are shown individually. In addition, there are the same amount of cards with only halves of letters on them. The so-called „mirror line“ is also painted on these cards. The mirror is placed on it and with its help you can see the whole letter. There are different ways to play with the cards:


    • Recognise and name the letters,
    • Recognise and name the halves of the letters,
    • With the help of the mirror, match the „half“ to the correct letter,
    • Match the „half“ to the correct letter without the mirror.

Geometric figures can also be divided into equal halves.

Some with only one mirror line – an isosceles triangle,

some with two mirror lines – a rectangle,

some with three lines – an equiangular triangle,

some with an infinite number – a circle.

Finding this out could become an interesting game of discovery.

The circle is a special shape, it is very popular with children because you need it to draw a face or the sun. The circle is, after the cross, the next shape that occurs in the children’s representational development. At the beginning it resembles a spiral, then the children manage to close it. It takes on different shapes: Oval, egg, ellipse, until it finally gets the perfect shape. In all their attempts to paint the circle perfectly, children realise that it is not an easy task. Some children ask adults for help: „Can you paint the circle for me?“ – because they have found that their results are very far from their inner idea of what a real circle should look like. Other children look for objects to help them paint around. (The ability to recognise the circle is a necessary prerequisite for this).

So it often happens with us that the children fetch a plate from the cupboard when they want to paint a mandala. The wheels for self-made cars also have to be real circles – for this, children take the circle from the logical blocks, for example.

I thought of a game for the circle:

Bend the circle, count the parts

There are children of different ages sitting at the table, some can already write numbers, some not yet.

At the beginning, each player draws a circle with the help of the plate, then cuts it out. On another sheet of paper is a simple table. It has two columns: one for the number of kinks and one for the number of parts counted.

Then the circle is folded once and opened again – the children count the kinks (1) and write the number in the corresponding column of the table. Then they count the parts that have been created (2) and also write the number in the correct column.

The younger children draw lines instead of numbers.

The game is continued in this way: 2 kinks – 4 parts, 3 kinks – 6 parts, etc.

After the fifth kink, I asked children if they already knew the result without counting the parts.

Jan, (4 years 7 months) immediately knew the right number, he only counted the parts to check, then he filled in the table without bending the circle any further. He told me: the kinks always go on by „one“, but the parts make a jump over the next number.

Simon also illustrated this phenomenon graphically.

Lukas (5 years 1 month) also had no problems with this task, although he could not explain it so accurately.

Linea (4 years 8 months) wanted to play it safe and didn’t dare make any predictions.

The youngest child (4 years 1 month), of course, had enough trouble with counting the parts created and drawing the lines in the appropriate number. Nevertheless, the child was able to solve the task correctly and to his own complete satisfaction.

This task also involves doubling the number, but the children involved in the game still lack this experience.

To gain such experience, our mirror is wonderfully suitable.

With the mirror you can double everything: the shapes and the quantities. There are many ways to explore this.

Other mirror games

1. the halves of different objects are painted on small cards. Children look at these with the help of the mirror, experiencing the „miracle“ of completion.

2. the same cards are looked at without the mirror. Children guess which object they represent half of.

3. Faces that consist of two different halves are sometimes a man’s face, sometimes a woman’s face.

4. children draw the reflection in the mirror (with and without the help of the mirror).

5. children design their own cards. (To do this, they have to combine knowledge about reflections with their own creativity).




6. Children look at different objects with the mirror and notice that they get different pictures when they change the position of the mirror just a little.






7. After they have understood the phenomenon, they create „mirror patterns“, e.g. in the „hammer game“.





Set theory and statistics in kindergarten.

In the course of life, children develop the urge to sort the things that surround them. Clothes in their favourite colour are picked out from the cupboard, the red cup is placed on a red saucer, each row in the peg game is placed in only one colour, the logical blocks are put away according to shape, the coins are stacked according to colour, later according to value, and so on.

Specific game offers also promote this development, e.g. in the chair circle: Shortly before 12 o’clock, the children collect their kindergarten bags. To avoid chaos, we indicate which children should leave now: all those who have a red jumper on, or all those who have letters on their T-shirt, or who have a pigtail, and so on. Here, a child always feels that he or she belongs to a certain group (crowd), depending on what she or he is wearing that day.

The boring tidying up can also be made more exciting by providing extra bins for toys of different colours, shapes or sizes.

To do this, I thought of a few new games that I did with a small group.

Duplo Man House

20 Duplo men want to „live“ in a house. They are all different and they don’t want to be in one room. The „girls“ don’t want to live with the „boys“. The ones with red jumpers don’t want to share their room with the ones with blue jumpers, etc.

This game developed like a story (other variations would have been possible, of course).

Children looked at the little dolls and thought about which room they should put them in. They counted the quantities and wrote down the numbers. Some dolls could be assigned to several rooms.

Through precise instructions that were on the „playing cards“, all the children present were able to complete the allocation, the older ones did the writing down of the numbers.







Statistical investigation of the Duplo society

This time we wanted to take a closer look at the Duplo men, each one individually. I chose the most important criteria and prepared a statistical table. This task demanded much more attention, concentration and perseverance from the children.

To my amazement, this game became the favourite activity of several children, even younger ones.

I observed how lovingly and at the same time perceptively the little dolls were looked at by the children, how the crosses were made in the corresponding columns. (Some children didn’t need „help strips“ for this, they could locate the coordinates correctly).

One day Jan (4 years, 7 months) approached me and said he would like to prepare such a table for the children.

I thought that was a good idea, and together we thought that this time we would investigate Duplo animals.

Jan chose 10 animals from the Duplo animal box. We looked at them and thought about which criteria we could take. Jan drew the chart, but he asked me to write it on the computer because it would be much nicer (unfortunately, we don’t have a computer in the kindergarten for such games – it would be very exciting to let Jan prepare the chart).

This task was also solved with enthusiasm by several children, although Jan personally did not attach much importance to solving it correctly, he made a lot of mistakes.

Finally, Lukas did a final calculation to check who had solved the task most accurately. For this, he had to enter all the individual results and then compare them with the correct number. He worked very persistently and concentrated.


In spring, we looked at the growth of plants. We observed for several weeks how the bean seeds germinated, grew into green plants and produced flowers. Finally, we could see the pods with new seeds forming and ripening. In the first week of September it was harvest time.

There were 6 plants in the flower pot, each with 3 pods.

I worked with a small group consisting of the children who had taken care of the bean plants during the growing season.

Each child was given a large sheet of paper, a pencil and of course a harvested plant.

At the beginning the children looked at the plants, we remembered what we had observed in spring:

What was the growth like, what did the plants need to grow properly, etc.

We also noticed that each plant grew from a single bean.

The children were already very excited to see the pods, which they finally opened. They were very amazed when they discovered the white seeds inside.

Each child was asked to count their „bean children“ and write down the number. The quantities were 14 or 15 seeds. I asked the question, „How many children did the bean mama get?“ Each child gave me the answer.

Then we added up all the „children“: 88.

I asked if they knew how many children these beans would have when we put them in the ground next spring?

The children couldn’t imagine, they gave me different answers.

I drew a bean on the sheet – it was the „bean mother“, below it all 15 „child beans“.

For each „child“ I drew their children (if we were to put this bean in the ground next year).

The children supported me in painting and noticed that there would be a lot of new beans.

And if we put these „grandchildren’s beans“ into the soil, we will get very, very many beans.

In this offering, it was not important to learn exactly the true nature of mathematical power. It was important that the children developed a feeling for it.



To do this, I came up with a story:

A garden gnome called Bodo was very fond of bean stew. That’s why he put a bean seed in the ground in spring. He made sure that the seed got everything for its development: good soil, water, light and warmth. He watched his plant develop magnificently. The neighbours also supported him.

When the summer ended, the harvest came. Bodo proudly opened the 3 yellow pods and put 15 white, smooth seeds in the basket. On Sunday he wanted to cook bean stew and invite the nice neighbours over.

„You don’t just need beans for a tasty bean stew,“ Bodo thought, „you also need potatoes, leeks and carrots. And then pepper and salt. He could get that at the shop of the clever vixen Adele. In return, Adele wanted 5 bean seeds as payment.

And then Bodo had to buy firewood from Felix the beaver. Felix demanded 3 beans for it.

When Bodo came home with his purchases, he found that he only had 7 bean seeds left. It was very little. He thought for a long time and finally put 2 seeds in a little wooden box and said, „I’ll put those in the ground next spring!“

He cooked the last 5 beans with other vegetables. When the neighbours asked why the bean stew hardly tasted like beans, Bodo said, „Come next year for bean stew!“

This story preserves the knowledge about plant development that the children have gathered through active observation. And, of course, quite a lot of mathematics. There are also some elements of economics.

I created a picture book together with children for this story.

This became the conclusion of our bean farm and at the same time our contribution to the theme: „Harvest Festival“.

Every occasion in kindergarten enables us kindergarten teachers to introduce children to the fascinating world of mathematics.

It is about developing the understanding of numbers, quantities, operations, effects and phenomena.

We must not forget that the children have had a variety of experiences in the mathematical field long before they come to kindergarten.

It is not a new world into which we are leading the children, so we should continue to accompany them with naturalness and without fear of incompetence.

It goes without saying that kindergarten is not a place for the tedious practice of „writing numbers“. That is already the responsibility of the school. Everything else can develop into a wonderful adventure.


See also:

The Advancement of Mathematical Talent in Kindergarten

Basic Ideas of Mathematics

Further Math Projects


Date of publication in German: 2009, August
Copyright © Klaudia Kruszynski, see imprint.

Watching Beans Grow

by Klaudia Kruszynski


At the moment we are dealing with the theme of spring. This year we had to wait a particularly long time for it, winter just wouldn’t leave. In the middle of March, the time had finally come and we could hope for the returning life.

So we wanted to teach the children more about how plants develop. My aim was for the children to find out what factors influence the life of plants.

In a way, this project was also a continuation of the project: Time.

From observing the snowdrops growing in the outdoor area of the kindergarten, the children knew that some plants develop from a bulb that is hidden under the ground in winter. Now it was time to learn about the other kind of growth: the development of a plant from a seed.

… in a nutshell …

In this project, the children learn how to observe precisely and systematically over a longer period of time in order to come to new insights.

Little Sven (4;3) is particularly interested and can not only keep up with the older children, but is especially careful and persistent.

For this observation I chose beans and peas because they are quite large and robust compared to the other seeds. The children can see all the changes with the naked eye.

We started observing on a Monday at the end of March. It was in the afternoon, in my group there were 10 children aged 3 to 6, including Sven, Mark, Lukas,whom I wanted to involve particularly strongly in this project.

All the children sat down at the table, they were very excited about what was about to happen. I put two small bowls on the table: one with peas and the second with beans. I asked the children what it was.

I was surprised that they didn’t know raw beans, they thought they were „Tic-Tacs“. „If you don’t swallow them, then you get to taste if they are really the Tic-Tacs“.

To their horror, they realised that the „things“ were not sweets, they spat it all out.

Then I asked if they remembered what I was going to cook after work today. (I told them about this an hour earlier while painting, when the children reported what they had for lunch).

Aaron could remember: „bean soup“. Then I said that the elongated seeds are beans, and I didn’t cook those because I have something planned for them. And so most of the children saw uncooked beans for the first time. With the peas it was much easier, many children have already seen raw peas and eaten a pea stew.

All the children examined the seeds: the beans are white and smooth, the peas yellow-brown and „wrinkly“. Both types are firm and hard, you can’t bite them.

I put other small bowls and film jars on the table. Then I brought a small greenhouse from the storeroom. We still needed waterproof pens and water.

I explained to the children that we were going to do an experiment together:

„What will happen to the beans and peas over the next few days if we leave them in different environments?“

Everyone was motivated to participate, each child had something to do.

We took different bowls for the beans than for the peas, two of each kind. Sven poured a little water into one of them, the others stayed dry. Then the others put 2 or 3 seeds in each.

We did the same with the film jars and the big ones labelled the lids: B for beans and E for peas (in German: Erbsen). They also made a sign for water on one lid of each type.


I asked the children if they could imagine how the beans and peas were doing in the jars, what they „felt“?

At first the children looked at me in amazement, but because I remained serious, they got involved in the game.

Question: „What would one bean say to the other?“

Answer: „It’s wet“.

Question: „Can this bean see the other one?“

Answer: „No!“

Question: „Why?“

Answer: „Because it’s dark in the can!“

Question: „What is this bean missing?“

Answer: „Light!“

The children were very proud of their discovery.

In a moment they also knew what the peas were missing.

They also discovered that the beans and peas did not rustle in the jars that contained water. So you don’t have to take the lid off if you want to know if there is water in it.

The seeds in the small bowls have light. You can see them and don’t need a label.

Finally, we put all the containers inside the small greenhouse. We closed the ventilation flaps to keep it humid inside. We found a suitable spot on the windowsill where the box would be easy to observe.

The next day the children told the others what we had done the day before, they said that there are no Tic-Tacs in the shells, but peas and beans. No one is allowed to touch them, the greenhouse has to stay closed.

What was the best way to document
this experiment?

I decided to use photos and observation sheets because the children who took part could not yet write.

Some of the observation sheets were filled in by the children with great meticulousness. They had to observe carefully and think precisely and systematically.

I observed that Sven was particularly interested in this experiment. He is 4 years and 3 months old. He has a very good memory, quite a large vocabulary and shows a lot of activity in finding out different things. He is interested in what the „big ones“ do, chooses table games that are meant for older children. He also knows the exact rules of the game and makes sure that the children follow them.
On the other hand, he is very shy and hides his own feelings (for example, a disappointment because it is already too late for a game, or that he is sad because he lost a game). In such cases, he turns around very quickly and turns to a new activity. Surprisingly, he accepts any offer, whether it is a game or something to do or paint. When asked if he would like to do something, he seems to come out of an „idle“ or „waiting“ period. He quickly finishes the previous activity and waits for the promised offer. But he must know what it is all about – he does not get involved in surprises!

He has to understand with his head beforehand, which is not always necessary with the other children – they understand by doing. Then he is involved with his whole attention and can concentrate for a very long time – one has the impression that he would „lose himself“ in the activity and explore everything with his whole being. This is probably why he took part in the experiment.

I thought of some tasks that he could do every day in the process:

    • Fetch the greenhouse from the windowsill for observation,
    • Prepare the plate with the corresponding number for a stock photo,
    • Take photographs,
    • Fill in some observation sheets
      or explain to the other children how to fill them in,
    • Return everything to the storage place.

Sven did his tasks very conscientiously. But when I asked other children to help, he wanted to run away and feigned disinterest.

The observation sheets have to be signed by the person completing them. Sven said he didn’t know how his name „goes“. The first time I guided his hand, but then I suggested that he could do it on his own. If he wanted, I could write his first name on a piece of paper for him to copy. He liked this suggestion very much, each time he took the piece of paper out of his pocket. He proudly showed it to his mother too: „This is how you write >Sven<„.

I noticed that he does not yet have a sense of direction when writing, the letters are turned on their side or upside down. This shows that he still has little interest in the technique of writing.

However, because he already showed a lot of interest in the letters, one afternoon I got him a set of foam rubber letters. Marius, who is 6 years old, picked out all the letters that form his first name from this set. Sven was overwhelmed by the set and tried in vain to find „his“ letters.

I helped him and together we put the word: SVEN on the table. Sven looked at it and asked if he could keep the letters. He couldn’t, but I could lend them to him. I put them into a small tin box and told him to bring them back when he had learned to put his name correctly or even to write it. Very proudly, he showed the tin to his mother when she came to pick him up.


Remember: Sven is aged only 4;3!

The other children, unlike Sven, only occasionally engaged with our experiment. They showed no interest in the systematic work. Only when visible changes occurred did they want to join in. But there were always „observers“ who preferred to watch what was happening from a distance while documenting.

Here are a few observation sheets from the 2nd, 4th and 8th day. On these days it was little Sven’s (4;3) turn to note down the observations.




Note: The beans and peas grew thicker in the water, but remained small when dry. The observation was interrupted after two weeks due to the Easter holidays.








Note: One bean with water and without light has fallen apart, all beans and peas have two „tails“ each.




Note: Sven believes that plants grow from the „little tails“.







After the holidays we found our beans and peas dried out, mouldy or rotten. Contrary to the „prognoses“, no plants or roots developed from the „little tails“ (that’s what the children called the sprouts).

The children realised why:

Some kernels dried out because they didn’t get any water. The others had too much water.

The children didn’t know why the ones that had soil and light got mouldy. Maybe because there was no fresh air in the greenhouse, I said.
Everyone was very disappointed that we don’t get big plants.

Then I mentioned that I still have some beans and peas and we could maybe try again.

„How can we make it so we get big plants, what’s good for the seeds?“

„Soil.“ „Water.“ „Air.“

„And what else? What happened to the seeds that were in the cans?“

„They went bad and stunk!“

„Why? What was wrong with those beans and peas?“

The children gave different answers, but only Mark knew for sure: „Light!“

Then we filled a big flowerpot with soil. I opened the tin of peas and beans and the children spread them all over the surface.

I asked them if they knew how tall the plants would be. The children showed the height and width with their arms.

„Right“ – I said. „Do you think they will all have enough room in this pot?“

Wordlessly, they gathered up some beans and peas again and put them back in the tin.

Sven asked if he could fetch the water because the seeds needed it after all.

When he came back with the watering can, I asked if it was good to leave the seeds on top. Everyone said it was not good because they would be in the sun or the birds might eat them away. We decided to cover the seeds with soil. After that, Sven was finally allowed to water.

Every day the children took pictures of the pot.

The experiment is still going on. The weather is not so good yet, so it takes time for the plants to come.

But the children were curious and dug up some seeds. They noticed that the beans and peas had already become thicker, just like before, in the greenhouse. Then they carefully covered the seeds with the soil again.

A few days later, Marius brought two barley seeds that he found at his grandma’s house. He put them into the soil in our bean and pea pot. After 3 or 4 days, green sprouts had already developed, but the beans and peas had only become thicker.

I asked the children if they knew why the corn was already growing. Then Sven said that at the farmer’s the grain in the field is also green and already bigger.

„Why is the grain already so big and the beans and peas not yet?“

The answer was not easy to find, but Mark said that the grain does not take that long to grow. That’s right. And the beans and peas just take longer.

Then I told the children that some plants germinate very early, even when it’s still cold outside. It’s the same with cereals, that’s why many fields are already green.

„How does it look in the vegetable garden, are there already vegetables growing?“

„No, the beds are still black, there are only flowers in the garden“.

Then I said that many plants are waiting for the warmth. The beans and peas need a lot of warmth during the day, but they wait to grow until the nights get warmer too.

Just these days the children could see that there had been frost at night – the lawn was white in the morning.

Then we thought together about what the plants need to grow:


Water, light, air, soil and warmth.

It took a few more days before the children could observe a significant change in our pot. First, the seeds got „tails“ – I explained that they are properly called „sprouts“. Then the colour of the beans changed, they turned green. One bean split in two. I asked Sven if it would develop into a plant. At first he said yes, but when I reminded him of the experiment with the greenhouse, where the same thing had already happened, he said the bean would go bad and break.

The weather got better and the plants got bigger. The „little tails“ had become thicker and soon roots and stems grew from them. Thick leaves hung from the stems. Sven realised that they were halves of the bean. Later, the real leaves developed.

It took 25 days before we could see a significant change. The peas were still not ready, they needed even longer.

Sven made an effort to always give the plants enough water, sometimes the flower pot looked like an aquarium. That’s when I had to fall back on previous experience: „What happened to the seeds that had too much water?“

„They turned mouldy.“

„Do you think you need to water today?“


„I think they have enough water.“


„Please feel the earth, it’s damp.“

„No, it’s dry!“

And then I had an idea: „Get a Tempo handkerchief.“

But Sven didn’t understand why he should get a handkerchief, in a moment he came back without the handkerchief.

„Where’s the tissue?“

„In the bin, I’ve already blown my nose!“

One of the six-year-olds who had been watching what was happening brought a tissue.

Sven wanted to leave, but I called him back because I wanted to explain what I was going to do with the cloth.

He was to put it on the soil in the pot and press on it with a finger.

When he had done that, I asked what happened to the cloth. The other children shouted that it had got wet. Sven didn’t want to believe it, nor that the beans didn’t need water now.

The next day he did a cloth test himself, as well as in the other plant boxes that are on the terrace.

Other children also checked the soil moisture since then.

 Contrary to my expectations, Lukas and Mark participated very little in this project. Lukas showed no interest in it, mostly keeping himself busy at the painting table. Mark only joined in when he had nothing to do. In discussions in the circle of chairs, he gave the right impulses – he knew what the plants needed and could report on previous changes.

Mirko and Abdullah (both 6 years old) competed with Sven for the right to pick out the numbers, to water and to take photos. (Sven understood these tasks as his own).

I allowed this participation and was happy about it. All three were allowed to take turns and complement each other in the tasks.

This observation lasted several days. Every day a photo was taken to record the changes. Because nothing happened for a long time (in the biological sense), the task: „To put the next number for the photo“ took on a special meaning. We passed 10, then 20 and 30.

The children were challenged to find out the next bigger number every day. What was yesterday’s number, what is today’s, which one will come at the weekend?). At the same time, they had to put the number correctly (twenty-one as 21 and not 12).

Sven was just as good at this as his colleagues who were two years older.

My aim is for the children to discover one more factor. Plants do not only need: soil, sun, water, air and warmth for their development.

They also need time!

Different plants need different times to develop from a seed. I discovered that someone put a hazelnut in our experimental flower pot. I wonder if the children can guess how long it takes for it to grow into a hazel bush?

How long do the other plants in the garden take, how long do the trees in the forest take?

How long do people live?

How many „bean lives“ does human life take?

How many human lives does the „tree life“ last?

These are very interesting questions. I’m really curious to see what ideas they come up with. I’m especially interested in what Sven has to say about it. But also Mirko and Abdullah, who supported Sven in his „work“.

The subject of „time“ also needs time
so that the children can grasp it.

See also Klaudia Kruszynski’s article Playful Mathematics. In the section „Power“, children use the growth of beans to grasp the mathematical concept of (mathematical) power.

Observation sheet blanco (pdf)


Date of publication in German: April 2012
Copyright © Klaudia Kruszynski, see imprint.


Malte Brings the Rubbish Issue into the Group

by Martina Werner


This contribution is an excerpt from:
Five Children Build a Group and Follow Their Interests. When the small group was formed and the five children could suggest topics, Malte (5;5) named the topic of rubbish. First, the topics of two other children came up, but then it was Malte’s turn as the third. He was also very committed to the other topics, but kept asking when we were finally going to the rubbish collection.
See also: Malte, 5;0 Years Old

In preparation, I talked to my brother-in-law again, and he told me about a company nearby. At the beginning of September, I met with Malte to call the company and make an appointment, or to first ask whether a visit was possible at all.
In the afternoon, when all the newly admitted children had been picked up, we went to the office and looked up the phone number in a phone book. Malte recognised the book by a small characteristic sign painted on the spine. Then he looked for the K for our town Kürten and finally the N for the Neuenhaus company.

He wrote the name on a piece of paper and I was supposed to tell him the letters. He already knew most of them, others I told him on request. I read out the telephone number and he wrote it down, he already knew the numbers. I then automatically put a slash between the area code and the actual number. He asked me what it was for. I explained to him that the same number can exist in different towns and that you therefore need an area code so that the call ends up in the right town. He asked for examples and I gave him some: 02268 for Kürten, 0221 for Cologne or 040 for Hamburg.

Since Malte had the wish with the rubbish collection, he was also allowed to call there and ask questions himself. I wanted to involve him as much as possible in his project so that his interests would really be met.
We then looked for a quiet room the next afternoon and took the phone with us. Rico (5;4) also wanted to join in. I asked Malte if he would like to talk to the people himself and what questions he had. He then had the idea that I should write down his questions so that we wouldn’t forget anything.

Those were his questions:

    • When can we get there?
    • Do you have waste separation?
    • Do you have a very big belt for sorting?
    • Where is a waste incineration plant?
    • Can we see a real rubbish truck, even from the inside?
    • Can we bring rubbish with us to sort?
    • Is there a rubbish truck wash? (I would never have thought of this question, but it’s logical, isn’t it? After all, rubbish trucks get dirty and have to be cleaned at some point. So you never stop learning, you learn along with the children!)

The first time we called, no one had time for us. The next day we started the second attempt, Malte was very excited the whole week and kept coming to me and asking when we were going to continue. This time they were prepared at Neuenhaus and we were able to ask all the questions and make an appointment. For this, we turned on the loudspeaker on the phone so that Rico and I could listen in.
Malte then kept asking me quietly what he wanted to ask again. The man on the other end took a lot of time and answered in detail. In the process, new questions arose for Malte, which he answered immediately. Quite brave to talk to a stranger on the phone himself! He was highly concentrated during the conversation, very serious, confident and self-assured. Rico was only there for a short time and didn’t notice much of the actual conversation, he was playing.

Afterwards, Malte was very excited and calculated for me every day how many days were left until the visit.

We then asked the children of the „Rubbish Collection Squad“ who would like to come along. They were to make their own decision.
Pascal was the only one who didn’t want to come. Ever since he joined the older children in the Robber Group, he’s been against everything. He probably doesn’t have much confidence in himself at first and first has to really get used to the robbers.
The number of children was limited to 8 because of the traffic on the Neuenhaus premises. We then asked the pre-school children to join us, so that 7 children finally came along. This way, more children could benefit from the ideas and wishes of the gifted children. Actually, younger children also wanted to come along, maybe they could go to the waste incineration plant, we’ll see.

The next day, Malte came to me in the group and said he was bored. He could look for rubbish to take to the rubbish collection, I said. He was immediately hooked and we set up 4 bins in the small room (storeroom) and put signs on them, which Malte painted and labelled himself:
– Paper,
– Green Dot (he was already familiar with this),
– residual waste,
– plastic bottles (he had learned this on the phone).

This made the waiting time more exciting for him. He collected rubbish every day, asked all the kindergarten teachers to help, asked the cook in the kitchen and emptied the rubbish bin from the office. Every day he came and asked if I had anything else. He even tipped out my water bottle so that he finally had a plastic bottle. I was less enthusiastic about that, which I told him clearly. He also realised this and was dismayed by my reaction, after which he was even more diligent in his work. After all, you still have to set clear boundaries.
Anyway, he infected everyone and then everyone had special rubbish, like a broken globe or big boxes. Many thought of him and were open to his wishes.

Again, I wrote a letter to the parents and asked two parents to accompany me to the rubbish collection. Because of the settling-in period of the youngest children, the outing was to take place in the afternoon and only one kindergarten teacher could come along.

And then we were at the rubbish collection

First, everyone waited outside and I went with Malte to the office to register. After we had put on high-visibility waistcoats, we went to the sorting belt. Some of the girls held their noses and said: „It stinks in here!“ The boys looked around with interest and marvelled at the big machines.

Of course, we also had the rubbish that Malte had collected. After the sorting belt, we took a closer look at one of the vehicles. We were allowed to throw the paper waste in the back and watch it being crushed. Malte was the first to be allowed into the driver’s cab and could then see the children standing behind the car via a monitor.

During the whole time – the tour lasted one hour – he never left the side of the man who showed us everything. The worker devoted a lot of time to him and answered all his questions. And there were many, for Malte there were always new questions that he wanted to have answered immediately. You could literally watch him think.
Unfortunately, I hardly heard any of the questions because it was very loud, I had to pay attention to the other children and I was taking photos.

Malte asked, for example, why the car beeps when reversing. He got answers to all his questions. It must have been great for him to be taken so seriously! The next day, I gave the staff a small thank-you gift and they asked me if they should draw up an employment contract for Malte. They had never seen such an interested child who already knew so much. I told this to Malte and his father, they were both pleased and looked very proud.

From above, we watched a large container yard and got an explanation of a car tyre shredding machine that prepares granulate for sports fields. Interesting!

We went on to the big hall. Various large piles of rubbish were sorted there. Malte was then allowed to throw our collected rubbish onto the corresponding piles. He knew immediately what belonged where. The plastic bottles were pressed into bales and Malte wanted to know what happened to them.

But what everyone liked best was the big excavator, that is the rubbish grabber, as Malte immediately improved on me. He had already asked our guide that. The rubbish grabber threw the paper rubbish into a press, so that pressed bales were created there too. Malte was then allowed to pick up a single piece of cardboard, which was quite light. Then he was supposed to try to lift a pressed bale, but he couldn’t. It weighed 350 kg.

And Malte was actually allowed to get into the cabin of the waste grabber and drive up so that he could see everything from above. He was explained the levers and could even operate them. I was so touched by his beaming face that it almost brought tears to my eyes. It was a dream come true for him! I have never seen him so satisfied, highly concentrated, motivated, eager to learn… I don’t have any more words. It was great to see that!

Unfortunately, we couldn’t see the truck wash because it was undergoing TÜV 〈Technical Monitoring Association〉. But we did see how a lorry was washed by hand and where they were refuelled. At the end, everyone got a small dustbin with a balloon in it.

Afterwards, when we were standing in front of the site waiting for the parents, Malte complained that it was already over. There was still so much to see, he wanted to have the big truck scales explained to him, he wanted to go down to the lower site,….
And the next day he immediately asked me when we were going to the waste incineration plant. That will probably be our next appointment.

Malte´s great curiosity is not yet satisfied!

About the other children of my Group of Five:

Rico’s mother helped with the excursion and was quite fascinated by how her son behaved: He was highly motivated the whole time, he listened intently and asked questions and was not bored! He is also very interested in technology and needs a lot of „input“. He got it this time.

Naomi was the youngest on this trip, but she had her father with her. That was good, because she was afraid of the many wasps that were attracted by the rubbish. She had been stung three times the day before. You also have to take such fears into account. But she also said afterwards that she had enjoyed it.

Nora looked at everything with interest but said little else. I can’t judge what she took away from this excursion.

It’s a pity that Pascal wasn’t there. But our offers are voluntary and he didn’t want to come. He has little self-confidence when it comes to new things. There would have been motor challenges for him, such as the steep stairs to the sorting facility.

The rest of the pre-school children enjoyed it very much, and there were also children who were particularly interested in technology and vehicles. Sarah, for example, as Malte’s best friend, has been playing role-playing games with him for a long time on the topic of waste collection.

Personally, I enjoyed the excursion very much. I was pleased that the Neuenhaus employees were so serious, patient and intensive, especially with Malte. I was able to fulfil his greatest wish and since then he has been playing his role-plays on this topic even more intensively and in more detail. The other children can now understand many things better and enjoy playing along.
The next day, the kindergarten teachers of the Robbers‘ Group told me that the children had talked a lot about their excursion in the morning circle, sometimes down to the smallest detail.

I quickly printed out photos and made a poster with Malte to make our work transparent to the parents. The photos will also go into the children’s portfolios later, not only of this excursion, but of our entire project. This way they can document and show what they have achieved or experienced.

Malte was allowed to choose the photos for the poster and stick them on, then he wrote little texts for several pictures, for example „This is the rubbish grabber“. He likes to write himself and I told him the letters or, if he didn’t know them, prescribed them and he copied them down. When it became too tiring for him, I wrote his comments and he glued them to the matching picture. He was proud to be able to write so well already. And he could remember an amazing amount of detail, especially technical terms, like the rubbish grab.

See also:  Advancement in Small Groups – Possibilities and Advantages


Date of publication in German: August 2021
Copyright © Hanna Vock, see Imprint.

Pia Makes Her Own Books

by Gudrun Pütz


Five-year-old Pia (5;6) started writing and I suggested that she make little letter stamps with me. She was immediately very interested and drew letters on foam rubber. She cut them out and then stuck them on little wooden blocks. On the following days they were tried out: always with little words like PAPA, MAMA, OMA…. (Grandma).

The author describes individual support as it should be: The idea comes from the child, the kindergarten teacher supports and encourages it; the child produces new ideas – and follows idiosyncratic learning paths. The teacher accompanies her.
See also: One-on-One-Advancement, Mentoring.
The results flow back to the group as suggestions. A concrete product (book) and a new structure (offer of printing tables) are created. Pia learns a lot in a short time and passes on her experience. Perfect!

Then I wrote her little letters with orders, for example:
„HALLO PIA MÖCHTEST DU MIT WASSERFARBEN MALEN?“ (Hello Pia would you like to paint with watercolour?) or „SCHLIEß BITTE DIE TÜRE“ (Please close the door). Pia didn’t write back. When I asked her about it, she said, „I can talk to you!“ But she then printed for her sister: „WIE WA S IN DER SCHULE?“ (How was it in school?) or „MUST DU HEUTE RECHNEN?“ (Don`t you have to calculate today?) and „HALO SONJA ICH GE HEUTE REITEN“. (Hello Sonja I´m going riding today).
Sonja then wrote her little letters back. After a few days, Pia’s interest in letter printing waned and she turned back to her new friend Solveig from the neighbouring group.

Note from the course leader:
This was apparently enough for her to work out the concept of „letter writing and letter contact“ for herself.

A book with her own rhymes is created

When Solveig was sick for a few days, I noticed that Pia was bored. Because she loved to make up little word games and rhymes, I offered her to print a little book with her rhymes. She was very enthusiastic about it and wanted to start immediately. We decided to start the next morning. Then she came to the kindergarten with the words: „But now we’ll start with my book!“

I had already written down some of her own rhymes in capital letters a few days before
and asked her if she would like to print one of them. At first she said no. But since she couldn’t think of a rhyme quickly that was good enough for the book, she decided to print the one I had suggested. She – and I – had great fun with it.

Weaving (…weben)
I like to float (…schweben)
but I’ll never make it in life (…Leben)

But one day I did manage it  (…doch)
And I floated into a hole (…Loch)

Pia often rhymes out of the situation: When she is working on her weaving frame, she thinks of a rhyme for weaving – or she eats a nectarine and makes a rhyme for it. When she had copied the rhyme with the nectarine, she drew two bees underneath it – and in the process she was already continuing to rhyme.

I eat a nectarine  (…Nektarine)
Hopefully no bee comes  (…Biene)
There are even two coming  (…zwei)
I’ll scream oh dear  (…o wei)

Pia also changes existing counting rhymes that are currently being used in a game. I then wrote down the rhymes and at a later date we printed them. However, Pia always insisted on printing with me alone. As the settling-in phase for the new children was just beginning, I hardly had the opportunity to work with Pia at that time. Then Pia initially wanted to write rather than print. However, she was not satisfied with the evenness of her letters and I had to persuade her again and again to continue writing.

The dinosaur was mean  (…gemein)
He bit me in my leg  (…Bein)
So I threw a stone  (…Stein)
That was mean too  (… gemein)

Note from the course leader:
She sets herself a new, more advanced task and has high expectations of her result.

She was very proud every time we filed a rhyme in her book. She sometimes takes the book and reads it herself, but she also reads it to other children.
Pia always wanted to draw or tinker something to go with the rhymes. So the book is completed further when Pia enjoys it.

Course leader’s comment:
Pia has learned a lot. Even though you had little time, your impulses and interest in her project were necessary conditions for Pia’s success. The rhymes and the technical realisation are great for a 5-year-old!

Rhymes and Poems

I cut you a star  (…Stern)
Because you are in the distance  (…fern)
And so modern.  (…modern)

One, two, seven,  (… sieben)
I should have stayed in bed  (…gebleiben)
One, two, eight  (…acht)
That was a stupid night.  (…Nacht)

You’re Mrs Pütz  (… Pütz)
That’s why you are protected.  (… geschützt)

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, (… sieben)
An old woman boils turnips  (… Rüben)
An old woman cooks bacon  (… Speck)
And I eat her all away  (… weg)

Pia makes another book

One morning I wanted to measure a book shelf in the group room with a folding rule. While I was talking to a colleague, Pia came over all excited and wanted to show me something.
I saw that she had bent the folding rule in the shape of an „A“. Pia asked enthusiastically, „Do you think I can lay out all the letters with the folding rule?“

I encouraged her to try. But before she continued, she sat down at the painting table and explained, „I’d better paint them on again first.“ She put the sheet of paper with the letters next to her and then bent one letter after the other, leaning the folding rule against the door each time and taking a photo of it.

She was intensively occupied with this
for a total of two hours.

When all the letters were made in this way, I offered her to print out the photos.

Pia then cut out the printed folding rule letters and put them into words. She said, „Oh cool, now I can write with them!“

I said, „You can write stories with the words. What do you think about making up a story and then we write it down in a book?“ She was very taken with the idea. The next morning she came to me immediately and said, „Mrs. Pütz, we can do the book now. I have thought of a story.“

Note from the course leader:
That was a good question at the right time … and that’s why she stays on it.

She then told me the story of the girl with the wiggly tooth – she had lost her first tooth just a few days ago…. She rejected my suggestion to involve other children in the production of the book:

„No, I’ll make the book all by myself with you.
The other children can watch. Then they will see how to make a book
and I will help them later to make a book too.“

Note from the course leader:
There she is amazingly clear and confident. And as described at the end, she keeps her promise to the other children!

We looked at the books in our group. Pia noticed that there are different types of books. When I asked her what she wanted her book to look like, she said: „I definitely want pictures in my book. But she didn’t want to paint, she wanted to print.

We had painted on sandpaper a few days before and then printed with it. I asked Pia if she wanted to make her pictures that way too. She said no. I gave her a piece of thin styrofoam and a nail with which she could paint (= scratch) something on it. We would then try to print with it. She carved her name on the styrofoam and said, „Painting just for the book. Now I’m carving my name.“ I gave her watercolour, thick finger paint and linoleum ink as well as a brush, a small rubber roller and a mirror tile.

Print template in mirror writing

She tried everything and found that her printed name was not legible. I set up the mirror tile for her and let her hold her sheet in front of it, „Ah, this is mirror writing!“ She took a new piece of styrofoam, wrote her name in mirror writing, printed it and was happy that it was now legible. When choosing the ink, she decided to use linoleum ink because she had seen that it was not possible to print so well with the other colours. She also enjoyed applying the ink to the tile with the rubber roller. She didn’t know how to do that yet.

We thought about how we should proceed now. Pia wanted to make the pictures first. We came up with six pictures for her story. She completed most of them on her own in one morning. I could only be with her a couple of times at short notice and told her she could fetch me if she needed me – but that was not the case. She didn’t want to have breakfast, didn’t want to go outside and worked intensively with red cheeks on her printing plates, which she then proudly showed to the other children. They became curious and Pia explained to them what she had done.

The next day, we went into the next room with four interested children and Pia showed them what she had learned.

Only after two more days could we start with her prints, which became very beautiful. She also got to grips with writing quickly. However, I had to dictate everything to her again. She was happy: „This will be a real book and there are no mistakes in it. I haven’t learned how to write properly yet.“
The next day, the dried print images were glued into the book and Pia presented her book to the children, beaming with joy.

The children were very taken with it. The four children she had guided now also wanted to make a book. Pia then said, „You know what, Mrs. Pütz, we can get a printing workshop next door!“ She explained: „We need a few tables and then we take the letters we tinkered, the polystyrene and the sandpaper.

and then we can get to know different ways of printing and try them out
and together
make a book for the group…“


Date of publication in German: August 2021
Copyright © Hanna Vock, see imprint


Pia macht eigene Bücher

von Gudrun Pütz


Die fünfjährige Pia (5;6) begann zu schreiben und ich habe ihr vorgeschlagen, mit mir kleine Buchstabenstempel herzustellen. Sie war sofort sehr interessiert und malte Buchstaben auf Moosgummi. Sie schnitt sie aus und klebte sie dann auf kleine Holzklötzchen. An den folgenden Tagen wurden sie ausprobiert: immer mit kleinen Wörtern wie PAPA, MAMA, OMA…

Die Autorin beschreibt eine individuelle Förderung wie sie sein soll: Die Idee geht vom Kind aus, die Erzieherin unterstützt und bestärkt sie; das Kind produziert neue Ideen – und beschreitet eigenwillige Lernwege. Die Erzieherin begleitet sie.
Siehe auch: Einzelförderung, Mentoring.
Die Ergebnisse fließen als Anregungen in die Gruppe. Es entsteht ein konkretes Produkt (Buch) und eine neue Struktur (Angebot Drucktische). Pia lernt dabei in kurzer Zeit sehr viel und gibt auch ihre Erfahrung weiter. Perfekt!

Dann habe ich ihr kleine Briefchen mit Aufträgen geschrieben, zum Beispiel:
„HALLO PIA MÖCHTEST DU MIT WASSERFARBEN MALEN?“ oder „SCHLIEß BITTE DIE TÜRE“. Pia schrieb mir nicht zurück. Als ich sie danach fragte, meinte sie: „Ich kann doch mit dir reden!“ Aber sie druckte dann für ihre Schwester „WIE WA S IN DER SCHULE?“ oder „MUST DU HEUTE RECHNEN?“ und „HALO SONJA ICH GE HEUTE REITEN“. Sonja schrieb ihr daraufhin kleine Briefe zurück. Nach einigen Tagen ließ Pias Interesse am Briefe-Drucken nach und sie wandte sich wieder ihrer neuen Freundin Solveig aus der Nachbargruppe zu.

Anmerkung der Kursleitung:
Das reichte für sie offenbar aus, um für sich das Konzept „Briefeschreiben und Briefkontakt“ zu erarbeiten.

Ein Buch mit eigenen Reimen entsteht

Als Solveig einige Tage krank war, bemerkte ich, dass Pia sich langweilte. Weil sie sich sehr gerne kleine Wortspiele und Reime ausdachte, bot ich ihr an, ein kleines Buch mit ihren Reimen zu drucken. Sie war davon hellauf begeistert und wollte sofort anfangen. Wir beschlossen, am nächsten Vormittag zu starten. Da kam sie schon mit den Worten in den Kindergarten: „Jetzt fangen wir aber mit meinem Buch an!“ .

Ich hatte schon einige Tage zuvor einige ihrer selbst ausgedachten Reime in
Großbuchstaben aufgeschrieben und fragte sie, ob sie einen davon gerne drucken wollte. Sie verneinte zuerst. Da ihr aber so schnell kein Reim einfiel, der ihr gut genug für das Buch war, entschied sie sich doch dafür, den von mir vorgeschlagenen Reim zu drucken. Das hat ihr – und auch mir – großen Spaß gemacht.

Pia reimt oft aus der Situation heraus: Wenn sie an ihrem Webrahmen arbeitet, fällt ihr ein Reim zum Weben ein – oder sie isst eine Nektarine und macht sich einen Reim darauf. Als sie den Reim mit der Nektarine abgeschrieben hatte, malte sie zwei Bienen darunter – und dabei reimte sie schon weiter.

Pia ändert auch bestehende Abzählreime, die gerade bei einem Spiel benutzt werden. Ich habe die Reime dann aufgeschrieben, und zu einem späteren Zeitpunkt haben wir sie gedruckt. Pia bestand aber immer darauf, mit mir alleine zu drucken. Da gerade die Eingewöhnungsphase für die neuen Kinder begann, hatte ich zu dieser Zeit kaum Gelegenheit, mit Pia zu arbeiten. Dann wollte Pia zunächst lieber schreiben als drucken. Allerdings war sie mit der Gleichmäßigkeit ihrer Buchstaben nicht zufrieden und ich musste sie immer wieder überreden, weiter zu schreiben.

Anmerkung der Kursleitung:
Sie stellt sich selbst eine neue, weiterführende Aufgabe und hat einen hohen Anspruch an ihr Ergebnis.

Sie war jedes Mal sehr stolz, wenn wir einen Reim in ihr Buch abgeheftet hatten. Sie nimmt sich das Buch schon mal und liest selber, aber sie liest auch anderen Kindern daraus vor.
Pia wollte zu den Reimen auch immer etwas malen oder basteln. So wird das Buch weiter vervollständigt, wenn Pia Spaß daran hat.

Anmerkung der Kursleitung:
Pia hat viel gelernt. Auch wenn Du wenig Zeit hattest, waren Deine Impulse und Dein Interesse an ihrem Projekt notwendige Bedingung für Pias Erfolg. Die Reime und die technische Umsetzung sind für eine 5-Jährige klasse!

Pia macht ein weiteres Buch

Eines Morgens wollte ich im Gruppenraum mit einem Zollstock ein Buchregal ausmessen. Während ich mit einer Kollegin sprach, kam Pia ganz aufgeregt und wollte mir etwas zeigen.
Ich sah, dass sie den Zollstock in Form eines „A“ geknickt hatte. Pia fragte begeistert: „Glaubst Du, dass ich alle Buchstaben mit dem Zollstock legen kann?“

Ich ermutigte sie, das zu versuchen. Doch bevor sie weitermachte, setzte sie sich an den Maltisch und erklärte: „Ich male sie mir vorher lieber noch mal auf.“ Das Blatt mit den Buchstaben legte sie neben sich und bog dann einen Buchstaben nach dem anderen zurecht, lehnte den Zollstock jeweils an die Tür und fotografierte ihn.

Damit war sie insgesamt zwei Stunden intensiv beschäftigt.

Als alle Buchstaben auf diese Weise erstellt waren, bot ich ihr an, die Fotos auszudrucken.

Die gedruckten Zollstock-Buchstaben schnitt Pia dann aus und legte sie zu Wörtern. Sie meinte: „Oh cool, jetzt kann ich damit schreiben!“

Ich darauf: „Mit den Wörtern kannst Du dann Geschichten schreiben. Was hältst Du davon, wenn Du Dir eine Geschichte ausdenkst und wir sie dann aufschreiben in einem Buch?“ Von der Idee war sie sehr angetan. Am nächsten Morgen kam sie sofort zu mir und fragte: „Frau Pütz, wir können jetzt das Buch machen. Ich habe mir eine Geschichte überlegt.“

Anmerkung der Kursleitung:
Das war eine gute Frage zur richtigen Zeit .. und deshalb bleibt sie auch dran.

Sie erzählte mir dann die Geschichte von dem Mädchen mit dem Wackelzahn – sie hatte erst vor ein paar Tagen ihren ersten Zahn verloren… Meinen Vorschlag, auch andere Kinder an der Herstellung des Buches zu beteiligen, lehnte sie ab:

„Nein, das Buch mache ich ganz allein mit Dir. Die anderen Kinder können zuschauen. Dann sehen sie, wie man ein Buch macht, und ich helfe ihnen später dabei, auch ein Buch zu machen.“

Anmerkung der Kursleitung:
Da ist sie erstaunlich klar und selbstbewusst. Und wie am Ende beschrieben, hält sie ihr Versprechen gegenüber den anderen Kindern ein!

Wir schauten uns die Bücher in unserer Gruppe an. Pia stellte fest, dass es unterschiedliche Arten von Büchern gibt. Auf meine Frage, wie denn ihr Buch aussehen sollte, sagte sie: „Auf jeden Fall will ich Bilder haben in meinem Buch.“ Sie wollte aber nicht malen sondern drucken.

Wir hatten ein paar Tage vorher auf Schmirgelpapier gemalt und dann damit gedruckt. Ich fragte Pia, ob sie auch ihre Bilder so herstellen wollte. Sie verneinte. Ich gab ihr ein Stück dünnes Styropor und einen Nagel, mit dem sie etwas darauf malen (= ritzen) könnte. Wir würden dann versuchen, damit zu drucken. Sie ritzte ihren Namen auf das Styropor und sagte: „Malen nur für das Buch. Jetzt ritze ich meinen Namen.“ Ich gab ihr Wasserfarbe, dickflüssige Fingerfarbe und Linoldruckfarbe sowie einen Pinsel, eine kleine Gummiwalze und eine Spiegelfliese.

Druckvorlage in Spiegelschrift

Sie probierte alles aus und stellte fest, dass ihr gedruckter Name nicht lesbar war. Ich stellte ihr die Spiegelfliese auf und ließ sie ihr Blatt davor halten: „Ah, das ist Spiegelschrift!“ Sie nahm sich ein neues Stück Styropor, schrieb ihren Namen in Spiegelschrift, druckte ihn und freute sich, dass er nun lesbar war. Bei der Auswahl der Farbe entschied sie sich für die Linoldruckfarbe, weil sie gesehen hatte, dass man mit den anderen Farben nicht so gut drucken konnte. Außerdem machte es ihr großen Spaß, die Farbe mit der Gummiwalze auf die Fliese aufzutragen. Das kannte sie noch nicht.

Wir überlegten, wie wir nun vorgehen sollten. Pia wollte zuerst die Bilder herstellen. Für ihre Geschichte kamen wir auf sechs Bilder. Die stellte sie dann weitgehend allein an einem Vormittag fertig. Ich konnte nur ein paar Mal kurzfristig bei ihr sein und sagte ihr, sie könnte mich holen, wenn sie mich brauchte – das war aber nicht der Fall. Sie wollte nicht frühstücken, nicht nach draußen und arbeitete intensiv mit roten Wangen an ihren Druckplatten, die sie dann stolz den anderen Kindern zeigte. Die wurden neugierig und Pia erklärte ihnen, was sie gemacht hatte. Am nächsten Tag gingen wir mit vier interessierten Kindern in den Nebenraum und Pia zeigte ihnen, was sie gelernt hatte.

Erst nach zwei weiteren Tagen konnten wir dann mit ihren Drucken loslegen, die sehr schön wurden. Auch das Schreiben ging ihr schnell von der Hand. Allerdings musste ich ihr wieder alles vorschreiben. Sie freute sich: „Das wird ein richtiges Buch und da sind keine Fehler drin. Ich hab noch nicht gelernt, wie man richtig schreibt.“
Am nächsten Tag wurden die getrockneten Druckbilder in das Buch eingeklebt und Pia präsentierte den Kindern freudestrahlend ihr Buch.

Die Kinder waren sehr angetan. Die vier von ihr angeleiteten Kinder wollten nun auch ein Buch herstellen. Daraufhin meinte Pia: “Weißt Du was, Frau Pütz, wir können ja nebenan eine Druckwerkstatt machen!“ Sie erklärte: „Wir brauchen ein paar Tische und dann nehmen wir die gebastelten Buchstaben, das Styropor und das Schmirgelpapier

und dann können wir verschiedene Arten zu drucken kennenlernen und ausprobieren und gemeinsam
ein Buch herstellen für die Gruppe…“


Datum der Veröffentlichung: August 2021
Copyright © Hanna Vock, siehe Impressum