It took me about four years to persuade Cosy to stock super strong Velcro to provide a re-usable alternative to plastic cable ties. The stuff comes in a roll and you cut the lengths you need. It’s not like ordinary Velcro and is particularly useful outside as it doesn’t pick up fluff and gunk. To help you understand its benefits I’ve produced a wee quiz to highlight my Velcro Attachment Theory which is quite simple: Velcro works best.
1.You want to quickly tie a tarp to a fence or trees. Do you:
- A: Work out the length of Velcro needed and slap it on in a couple of minutes
- B: Fiddle about with cable ties
- C: Use ball bungees which seem like a good idea but still need an attachment and you can’t help feeling they are simply bobbles for pony tails.
2. You have a child who loves exploring sounds, things that feel interesting and is still developing the fine motor skills needed prior to begin formal writing. Do you:
- A: Provide the child with a short length of Velcro and follow the child’s lead in what he or she wants to do. After all, it’s the perfect product for this child and their needs.
- B: Offer cable ties – and paint! That’s a fabby fine motor activity. You sing a made up song to provide the auditory amusement.
- C: Give them a rattle as it’s a nice familiar safe toy.
3.You have a group of children who love water play and so you think it would be an opportunity to introduce the concept of a water wall to them. Do you:
- A: Quickly attach a few items to a fence with Velcro and provide a range of open-ended resources and plenty of spare short lengths of Velcro should children wish to adapt the water wall as they explore.
- B: Spend a lot of time and effort creating a static water wall with cable ties to ensure that the children experience the same, unmoveable equipment time and time again. After all, repetition is a life skill for working on a production line.
- C: Ignore their interest. They’ve spent far too long on water and it’s now time for their next project – the desert.
4.It’s a freezing cold day and you want to put up a pulley as you have children who love transporting things. Do you:
- A: Set up a simply pulley system in a less than a minute, thanks to being able to use Velcro to quickly attach the pulleys to features such as sturdy drainpipes and fixed play equipment.
- B: Wonder what you will use as you only have cable ties which won’t work especially with your hands going numb with cold and no Velcro around.
- C: A pulley? Is this a joke question? Why would this be relevant to my children who need toys to play with not dated technology resources that weren’t even in fashion in the Seventies.
5. Uh oh! You’ve been asked to consider your approach to learning for sustainability and you are consumed with eco-guilt and worry. Do you:
- A: Bring along some super strong Velcro to your staff meeting to illustrate how Velcro can be re-used countless times and extends the learning possibilities in many different ways. Whilst it’s not your approach to LfS, it’s a nice way of demonstrating how we can make little tweaks that transform our practice.
- B: Hide the cable ties. After all it’s only a little bit of use-once-then-throw-away plastic in our lives.
- C: Confess to having plastic surgery and botox injections. After all its done wonders for delaying the onset of forehead wrinkles. Is there a similar solution to climate change?
- All A’s: I think you are a convert. Let’s compare lengths of Velcro tucked up in our pockets. You understand Velcro Attachment Theory (VAT).
- All B’s: Hmm, you seem to rather like your cable ties. You may need to rethink your commitment here and undertake some professional development on the benefits of VAT.
- All C’s: Oh dear… aside from cable ties or Velcro you seem to lack attachment and interest in your job. Cut the ties. Go and do a different job and don’t let you or your children suffer any longer.
Finally if you have any theories or proposals to counter the Velcro Attachment Theory then please do let me know. Who knows… perhaps a practitioner-led action research project will arise out of this… 🙂