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Lightning Reef ELC amplify children’s voices with Voice Lab

Earlier this year, Lightning Reef YMCA Early Learning Centre partnered with Communities for Children Bendigo on their ‘Voice of the Family’ project. The project aims to gather the voices of children in the Bendigo community to better understand them and their families. 

As part of the project, children at Lightning Reef YMCA Early Learning Centre had a fantastic day participating in the Polyglot Voice Lab

What is Voice Lab?

Voice Lab is a unique, immersive experience that gives children an opportunity to have their voices heard. Voice Lab is a den-like, dome installation that was brought into the Lightning Reef YMCA Early Learning Centre in early 2022. 

How does it work?

The children would enter the dome (one at a time) before answering questions by a hidden operator.

When children were asked about their favourite colour, the entire dome would magically light up in that colour!

By lighting up in the child’s favourite colour, Voice Lab helps children feel like they are being listened to and are in a safe place to voice their thoughts and feelings. Voice Lab is all about giving children a sense of agency and making them feel heard.

The children were then asked 30 questions related to the ‘Voice of the Family’ project and the operator would record their responses.

Here are some of the brilliant responses from our children

Voice Lab: If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Children:

South America, India or Bendigo

Probably in the clouds because I’d be safe from anything that would hurt me, I’m too far up

In Bendigo of course!

 
Voice Lab: If you had a magic wand, what would you do?

Children: 

Grant wishes, only ones that are useful and not nasty

Turn mummy into rich because I love her

I rule no bad guys, no covid, no wars, no worries and everyone in peace

Make a 14 legged chicken

 

Voice Lab: What helps you feel safe?

Children:

Being at day care

Being under a warm blanket in my bed

My family

Thinking about good memories

 

Voice Lab: What do children need to feel happy?

Children:

Family

Smiling

Being told it’s ‘ok, you didn’t mean to

Reading them stories

 

Voice Lab: What would a community for children be like?

Children:

Brave!

A big whole group of people that support you and make you feel calm

Full of toys

 

In a world where children’s thoughts and ideas are often unheard, the Voice Lab activity gave their voices a platform. As you can see, the responses were both hilarious and heart-warming!

Community for Children Bendigo also produced some videos of the children’s answers. 

Early learning

At the Y, we’re committed to delivering fun and stimulating activities like Voice Lab. These fun experiences encourage children to become curious, independent thinkers who can confidently share their thoughts and feelings. Find out more about our early learning programs.