More on water slides..

When adults run a water slide it looks like this:

  • One at a time
  • Evenly allocated water
  • Not much soap
  • Adult does the heavy work
  • Lasts maybe an hour
  • Orderly que down the side
  • Losts of waiting
  • No walking up the slide
  • Waiting until the person who has been gets off the end before the next one goes

When the kids run it:

  • Takes hours
  • Big kids have to help the little ones carry the water
  • Water carriers fluctuate in number and by who it is
  • Nothing is fair
  • Some of the kids get most of the water but no one seems bothered
  • Everyone waits at the top all crowding round
  • Lots of people go at once
  • No one waits for others to get off
  • Children remind each other and explain why you shouldn’t walk up
  • Weird creative innovations happen- filling old bike tyres for your own water
  • Some kid hogs the soap, or rations it dictatorialy (or is that like an adult)
  • Lots of soap is used
  • Kids don’t get even amounts of gos
  • Complaints are few but usually they get their desire when they do complain
  • The bossy kid who organises others by fair means or foul gets the most slides but the kids are okay with this… (well don’t make comments but do notice)
  • It’s very very loud, enthusiastic
  • Less water is used
  • The kids personalities shine out, stubborn, helpful, dominating etc (You can see future bullies, and those who stand their ground)
  • Adults find it hard to watch

“The kids doing it was fun because you got to do it longer”

Injuries were even, possibly less for the child led. To get to child led you often seem to have to wait for the adult who has been leading it to butt out or get sick of doing it. We have a different mix of children everyday but somehow that the water slide exists is passed on and they seem to need it to be adult run one day to be able to do it themselves another day even though they do it so differently. Towards the end of the programme the kids were even getting the heavy slide out of storage – it takes rather a lot of kids to carry it and conversation to unfold it. The opportunities for learning are immense.

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