Nakuru West preschool in Kenya together with their UK partner Sunbeam preschool joined together in an education for sustainable development project on bat conservation and learning through making things. The children learnt about bats by making bat models using recycled materials.
As an introduction to the project, the children at Sunbeams preschool sent a cuddly toy bat to Kenya together with a picture story book about bats.
This was received by Nakuru West children and their teachers:
Nakuru West preschool decided to join their partner friends in making bats using locally available materials which included charcoal for black colour, papers for wings, and cardboards from toilet rolls for bats body, sticks, strings, and blunt pins.
They also made a makeshift house for the bats.
As they carried out the activity, the teachers engaged in a dialogue with the children who learnt how bats cuddle together and hang upside down in their houses during the day as they sleep, and go out during the night to eat mosquitoes and moths. The children said they were happy to learn about the bats and how important they are to their lives. As long as the bats eat mosquitoes children will not get sick together with their siblings who are at home, thus they will always be happy healthy and able to attend school. Children also learnt how good it is for them to make sure they protect the environment and the bat habitats. They learnt a song about the bats, the song had numeracy and they sang counting about how bats went out one day and what would happened to them.
The teachers too were happy to learn more about the bats and decided to work together and to keep reminding the children about the bats. After we carried out the bat making activity each child was given an opportunity to go and put his or her made bat in the makeshift habitat.
The children were happy to learn that bats sleep while facing upside down. It was a very interesting activity and the children said they would look to see the bats and see if they are eating mosquitoes.
The teachers also learnt that it is important to make things out of recycled materials for teaching and also ensuring that children are fully engaged in the manipulation of such materials to have a clear view of what it entails.
Reported by Cecilia Wangui.