What is Scaffolding?

“Scaffolding” – meaning: A temporary structure used for holding workers and materials during construction or repair of a building.

In our Kindermusik classes, we use plenty of scaffolding when it comes to better understanding and appreciating our children’s qualities and abilities, through these 3 simple steps:

  1. Observe – really look at what your child likes to do for self expression. They may like to imitate the other children in class at first, but through scaffolding, they will soon develop their own ideas and expressive movements. For example, during instrument play, watch how your child likes to manipulate their egg shakers – are they shaking these from side to side, or slow, or fast? Do they like to hold the shakers close to their body or hide them under their legs?
  2. Acknowledge and imitate – acknowledge what your child is doing.  Imitate their actions while you label what they do: “Look Chloe, you are shaking your egg shakers really softly!” or “I can see that you like to move your rhythm sticks from side to side Joshua!” Every child is unique so you will always get a variety of responses from the same stimulus.
  3. Extend – once your child is engaged in the activity, see if you can add a little challenge: “Now can you shake your egg shakers really loudly this time Chloe?” or ” How about if you move your rhythm sticks up and down Joshua?”
Observe, acknowledge, imitate and extend = scaffolding

Scaffolding gets you into the habit of reading your own child. Acknowledgement from you, their primary carer, builds trust and gives them confidence and reassurance that their own efforts matter.  Giving them small challenges allows them to understand that they alone can manipulate objects and adjust their own actions to achieve a different outcome. They begin to understand the concept of self regulation.

In our child’s early years, we are their scaffold: their temporary structure to hold them up as they build themselves up to grow into  independent and confident thinking little human beings!


Leave a Reply