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  • 25 Jun

    Tinker Thinking Part III – Ramp Play

    The use of the phrase, happy accident, has pretty much gone out of fashion. None the less, for Jocelyn and Logan those words aptly describe their experience. This pair of pre-k children have known one another for two years and have been playing with ramps for about a year and a half. They are helpful […]

  • 23 Mar

    Tinker Thinking Part II – Building Bridges for Kids

    It’s winter in Colorado and the children are enjoying the sunny day and some much needed time outdoors. Logan invites his friends to build something with him. His plan includes using outdoor ramps, which each of the children carry out of the storage shed and into the yard. With a little bit of help from […]

  • 24 Feb

    Tinker Thinking Part I – Critical Thinking in the Classroom

    Children do it all the time. They change, add, and rearrange classroom materials to suit their play. They remove materials, make adjustments, and combine things to support their ideas and play scripts. This happens daily, within moments, and all because something works or doesn’t work. Children do this very quickly; they modify, adapt, try things […]

  • 04 Feb

    How to Make Open-Ended Play Not Be Overwhelming

    Occasionally I find myself talking with teachers who are frustrated because their children don’t use our materials as they are “intended”. They tell me stories of children using ramps for making flat roads in the block area or using them upside down with trains instead of right side up with balls. I’ve heard of the […]

  • 23 Dec

    Systems Thinking and the Complexity of Kodo Products

    Ramblings from Chris Systems Thinking is a term describing the thought process around understanding how interwoven parts or events act together to make a whole. An example of this is an engine in which many parts work together to produce a rotating drive shaft. Understanding these complex systems takes two things: 1) an independent comprehension […]

  • 09 Sep

    Kenneth Wesson on Asking Children Questions

    Many of you reading this know that I’m a parent. Every school year I attempt to pry information out of my son about his experience in school. This usually goes about as well as a novice opening a clamshell for the first time. I usually start with something like, “Anything interesting happen in school today?” […]

  • 05 Sep

    Play Training With the Tools of Children

    Here we go again, another school year is in play. Play is one of the key words to our success as early childhood educators. At Kodo, we’ve been delivering play training to programs that serve infants through pre-kindergarteners. Our focus is on increasing teacher’s capacities to engage children, be more intentional with environment, and increase […]

  • 08 Jul

    Preschool Observations – Collaborations and Inventions

    Quite often the Kodo Team gets out of the office and into classrooms to check in with kids and teachers. We make observations, take notes and are often invited to help, give advice and actively participate in play. In other words- children welcome us as collaborators. Using the lens of the Colorado Department of Education […]

  • 01 Jul

    Stories from the Classroom : Representational Play

    Sammy, age three, loves trains. He loves all the parts of trains- the wheels, stacks, engines, types of cars and, of course, their tracks. He loves a familiar tank engine whose popular name I need not mention. One summer morning Sammy found a new way to represent his beloved train tracks and more specifically the […]

  • 20 May

    The Benefits of Water Play

    What is it about water that makes it so inviting for children? They’re driven to pour it, mix it and dump things into it. They like to carry it about in buckets and bins, use it to fill up bowls to the brim and send it coursing down ramps. We know kids can’t resist a […]