My journey in VIVISTOP Telliskivi

Always going playfully forward and forward. Photo: VIVITA Estonia

Supporting children's independence and collecting special skills

In response to the traditional school system, VIVITA community created its own creative environment for 8–14 years old children equipped with professional machines, tools, and materials. After a long school day children would be welcomed by industry experts to get started with any crazy “let's build a flying cat” project ideas. It all sounds like a piece of cake but what is the support system behind this everyday work….

VIVISTOP Telliskivi Challenge Cards. Photo: VIVITA Estonia
Free Flow projects. Photo: VIVITA Estonia
VIVITA Vista lemonade stand and building prototypes. Photo: VIVITA Estonia

Play as a natural part of learning

In addition to the VIVITA membership journey improvements, I had the honour to be part of the creation of playful tools and methods. For example, industrial waste materials such as paper, foam, and SUVA rings from socks turned out to be great additions to arouse interest in children. These were especially useful during the Design a Game summer camp and its Free Play Corner where children could wildly express themselves.

Free Play Corner. Photo: VIVITA Estonia
Opening the surprise package. Photo: VIVITA Estonia
Playful tools for self-expression. Photo: VIVITA Estonia
Inventing games. Photo: VIVITA Estonia

Self-directed group of children

As the last project, I would like to highlight the newly tested concept called VIVITA Social Club. The goal of the “club” is to strengthen the community between members and give them a platform for self-expression as a whole group. The workshop is self-directed by the children, the mentors only support the group dynamics and help formulate the practical next steps.

Exit Room props. Photo: VIVITA Estonia
Successful escapers. Photo: VIVITA Estonia

Summary of my journey

All the lessons learned and experiences collected during these two years I will proudly take with me wherever I go! My self-development has been enormous and everything that I have experienced is hard to formalise. However, if I would have to summarise my lessons in few keywords, I would choose the followings:

  1. Less is more! In working with kids it is necessary to create realistic but open tasks. Think through the challenge and show how to find solutions. The result (and the way to get there) should always be open.
  2. Play, play, and once more play! The more playful the atmosphere, the easier children come up with ideas. The more comfortable the mentor feels, the better for everyone.
  3. Show, don't tell! If you want children really to understand what you are saying, you have to give many examples and examples they could relate to.

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