Hidden potential of the child.
In the first few years of life, a human develops at an alarming rate, learning new skills that soon become unconscious habits. We no longer think about how to stand up yet a toddler has to go through many activities to understand how to do exactly that. Each foot must be placed on the floor, how to pull themselves up using their hands and edge of a table, then they have to learn to balance, how far they can lean forward or backwards without toppling over. Before long this all becomes second nature and we no longer have to think about doing each action individually to produce a result of standing upright.
This process continues throughout our lives with each new task we have to learn from using a knife and fork to learning to drive and with repeated practice, it soon becomes something we no longer have to think about to action.
Modelling can be the same. We learn simple sets of actions that form schemas in our brains that before long we are doing without realising we did it. Many experienced modellers no longer think about how to separate plastic kit parts from the runners (the little frame around each part that enables it to be formed by the machines) and simply snip away in a very precise and specific way. They do not have to think of how close to make the cut, what tool to use, which part to cut first, what angle to cut from and how to make sure it doesn't ping off across the room. All these individual thoughts have created a schema for one set of instructions and they simply now pick up the sprue, snip and begin the next task.
We have to remember that these things do have to be learned in the first place however and starting from at a young age can help us develop these skills over time without the thought of a mountain of learning to get through before we even open the box.
Children have an inquisitive nature will naturally seek out to understand new objects, things that are just out of reach or off-limits. That's why they are constantly reaching for the remote control and climbing bookcases. They need to feed their desire to learn more, to explore the world around them and attempt to do things by themselves. If we encourage this independent learning, let them problem solve tasks and struggle with their dexterity, they learn quicker and gain vital diagnostic, physical and imagination skills.
Model making can be an excellent tool in enabling kids to learn in a safe, simple and low-cost way. Starting with young toddlers through to early teens, the kits described below offer a variety of choices of skill level and involvement to encourage these little hands to develop essential skills that span more than just hobbies and provide skills for real-world situations.