Volunteering with children: Clube de Curiosidade em Angola
Inspired by didi’s Science club, I thought of doing something similar for the children I volunteer with at the foundation here in Luanda. The idea was to understand simple science concepts through experiments and discussions. But I needed another volunteer who was fluent in Portuguese as well as English, otherwise I knew it would be very difficult to communicate and especially answer the queries.
As soon as Ana heard of the idea, she was all in! 🙂 Both of us set out to plan our Clube de Ciências (Science Club). While we were discussing topics we realised we also want to cover countries and cultures and interesting facts about the world. And we don’t want to let go of the recycled arts either. So instead of Clube de Ciências we decided to call it Clube de Curiosidade (Curiosity club).
We started with a simple concept of Absorption. Me and Ana actually prepared a small skit of how we have spilled water in the house and now what should we do? The kids would reply clean it and we have all different types of material around us – cotton, paper towel, plastic, silk, photo paper, tissue etc and they tell us what to use and then see if it cleans or not and then move to understanding “absorption” together.
We created a “board of absorption” with different materials on it and had water colours in tumblers for the kids to play with it and create their own masterpiece while still observe what absorbs and what does not and why the difference? It was interesting how they touched different material and said that silk is smooth while cotton is rough and so it absorbs less or the same for photo paper and tissue paper. Then they all ranked the different materials from maximum to minimum absorption.
Super fun day! I think they were more excited when we put up their masterpieces out on display :).
Next on we planned an “Around the World” tour. With the FIFA world cup fever on, it was the best time to learn something about each of the participating countries! Every week we picked up one continent and between Ana and me, we created simple slides showing a little about the culture and fun trivia about the countries. This particular activity was quite a learning experience for me as well! I didn’t know the capitals or recognise flags of half the countries! I didn’t know Chile has these huge statues on the Páscoa islands or that it also has the driest place on Earth! I didn’t know Uruguay has more cows than people! 😛 I didn’t know so many things and after doing the presentations, I wanted to travel to every place!
We also created a game to play after we finished every continent. We made cards with names of countries, capitals and flags. At the end of each day, every child had 4-5 cards and between them they had the whole set so they not only had to match them properly they also had to work together to find who has what and bring them together!
I enjoy volunteering with children. With children its not only just fun but always a learning experience for me. Every day we began and ended with fun energisers! The rain storm energiser has been the biggest hit amongst the children! At first when I asked them “Can we have rain in this room?” Everyone was like “no! It’s covered!” But then we did it… We had lots of rain in the covered room! 🙂
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