Why We Don’t Tell The Children What To Do
Welcome to our world of magic, forest, play, and dreams! At HKFA, we run our activities in the style of forest learning. If you have browsed through our website, we have explained our pedagogical direction here.
In Hong Kong, there are many outdoor adventure centers. But we would like to explain to you why we do not see ourselves as one of them.
A typical outdoor program for children is adventure-based: there is an adventurous activity, that the children are led to. It can be kayaking, rock climbing, or camping. We have also joined them as kids and we loved them. The instructors told us how to build a tent or guided us from one activity to another, telling us how to do this and that. In the end, we had an adventurous experience or sometimes maybe a picture or a craft that we made.
But at HKFA, we moved a bit away from this.
What is the difference?
We are a play-based center. Free play is our core and we believe in the children-led activities. It does not mean that we are not there, as instructors. But even though we plan the activities, we leave a big space for the children. They can change and bend our plans and they do have a voice at our campus.
The adventure is only a side effect of forest learning. Zipline or boulder climbing is something worth a memory! However, we also led the children to learn more about nature, their fears and strengths, how to talk to other people, how to encounter risks, how to solve problems etc.
We do not tell them how to do things, we give them a safe space to try, make mistakes, try again, and then finally come with a wonderful, unique way of their own.
We put play and learned soft skills in the first place.
And maybe sometimes too, they also come with a picture.