On a sunny summer morning we decided to take kids for an adventurous walk through a beautiful countryside around Leczyca, a small town in central Poland famous for being Polish kings’ seat. We wanted to visit a complex of old peasant houses to show kids how people lived in old times, what kind of houses were built long time ago or how people prepared food. Kids explored the area touching objects, peeking through holes, climbing a massive wooden windmill, visiting old tool rooms and discussing how all the strange tools they spotted could have been used in old times.
How to turn your visit into learning?
Although the whole area, buildings and exhibits offer plenty opportunities for cross-curricular learning (see our links below) our advice is to follow your kids’ interests and focus on those your children like the most. When visiting similar places simply see what objects/areas attract your kids. Is it an old tool room, a deep well made of stone or a windmill and its complex structure? Do you kids pay more attention to the way houses were decorated in old times or the fact that roofs were covered with hay? Observing this will help you offer your kids more contextualised and personalised learning.
Instead of trying to see everything in a hurry try to stop for example at the windmill, if this is what you child likes the most, and explore it thoroughly. Touch things (if possible), discuss details, investigate how things could have worked, how grain was processed into flour, show how things work, encourage your child to offer further explanations, predict, reason on the basis of what they can see. Later, at home, you can explore the subject by looking for more information, pictures, websites, books, articles, movies or even games.
What kids can Learn…
…looking inside the windmill: what is a windmill? what is its function? how does a windmill work? how does wind help a windmill work? what is inside the windmill? how is flour produced? how is the flower different to the one sold in shops? how were windmills constructed?
Multisensory Learning: sounds that tools and machinery make, shapes and sizes that can be found inside, materials (wood, metal, stone etc), feeling wood, metal and stone, grain, flour with hands, fingers, skin – their texture, temperature, size
…in an old Tool Room: What tools were used long time ago? What were the tools used for? What were their sizes, shapes? What were they made of? Who used them? How to use tools safely? Local people’s life in old times, jobs now and then
Multisensory Learning: sounds that tools make, temperature of the tools (cool, hot, cold, warm), textures (rough, smooth), shapes and sizes of tools
…in an Oil Processing Room:
What is old made from? What plants can be used to make oil? Oil processing now and then. Local plants, flowers and their properties.
Multisensory Learning: smelling oil, flowers; touching flowers, bottles, comparing shapes and sizes, bottles and liquids making sounds, textures of liquids
Science and Reasoning: comparing shapes and sizes of bottles, weighing, measuring liquids, what happens when…what happens next, following instructions, mixing substances,
Photo location: Kwiatkowek – an old peasant houses complex, Leczyca, Poland