While in Melbourne I was fortunate enough to be able to visit ArtPlay and sit in one of their "dreaming" sessions. A dreaming session is when an artist is testing out ideas with children to see how the idea needs to be refined. This means the interactive art sessions at ArtPlay are very much about the voice of the child, about ensuring the children are influencing the process and also the end product. Obang is the name of the dreaming performative installation I observed and
(blå text är på svenska) I have always liked collaborative art... of working together...
I find that often the focus is on the individual, which is an essential part of working as an educator... to see each individual child and to enable them to reach their potential... but individuals live, work and play in groups, so they need to work out how to be themselves in not just one group, but in a variety of groups and social situations.
Together art gives children the opportuni
While I was in Anji, China it was very obvious that the ladder was a symbol of play and freedom... a bamboo ladder is also the actual logo for AnjiPlay... When you see them in action you can also see why this is the case. The children are free to use and play with them in a myriad of ways. The fact that there are different lengths of ladders and were offered in different materials (pine or bamboo) is also testament to this... Ms Cheng (who is the founder of AnjiPlay) wanted n
So how comfortable are you adding to the work of others...?
here is what some teachers wrote down at one of the workshops at Boulder Journey School in the summer of 2013... I appreciated having a blueprint or framework to build from/on the work inspired me it was an interesting concept to add to someone elses work/art - feeling like you were misrepresenting their idea it makes me feel uncomfortable adding to or modifying someone elses work. Collaborating makes me feel more
STEM-education has been around for some time now... a focus on Science Technology Engineering and Maths in education - not long after came STEAM-education, introducing the Arts into the focus... As I have been talking with my co-collaborators for the Maker Square at Förskola21 on the 7th of October 2019 we felt there was an essential missing ingredient... Relationships - so we decided to add that extra R and create STREAM. STREAM does exist already in the sense that there are
Over the years I keep coming back to light as a tool for play, a tool for learning, a tool to explore and experiment... In a way light, for me, has become a symbol for learning... we become enlightened.. We can also use the word illuminate and elucidate in similar ways... As educators we strive to shed light on new things... experiences, knowledge, perspectives... This is part of my love for playing with light... it is much deeper than just the play and exploration, the scien
Here are some images that I have found, images that I have taken... images I thought might inspire you one way or another... Chalk board table... for free creative art that can be done over and over again... documenting images as you go and maybe creating a chalkboard table book of images..? how to instructions here... Thinking abut how you organise your materials is important... how easy is it for you to access things, for the children, more importantly.... is it easy to pu
I think what really fascinated me about AnjiPlay was that in social media there is a large focus on the risky play element of the approach... which means that from the outside the full spectrum of the play and the approach cannot be fully seen or appreciated... and this is why I have chosen to focus on writing about these other elements first... I believe that if these posts spike an interest you will easily look up AnjiPlay and discover more about it yourself, I hope that yo
During my visit to Anji County in China and the nine preschools one of the (many) ting that stuck out was the use of clay, and the scale it was being used. The children had access to huge amounts of clay... from beautiful, large, lidded pots to huge pits of clay that the children could climb into in order to collect clay... Each day in the AnjiPlay preschools the children had access to one hour of "True Play" - where the teachers backed off with their "eyes open, ears open, h
As the warmer weather approaches it gives you the opportunity to take paints outside and go crazy... This session was during the summer when there are often very few children attending preschool... just two this day... so I really took advantage of that...
I filled two big plastic boxes with warm soapy water so the children could use them to rinse themselves off at any time - these became very popular to climb in and out of and add an extra layer of wetness to the whole art
What looks like chaos to you might be a source of creativity to young learners, so don't be so quick to clear things away... Most often when people think of a Reggio Emilia Approach classroom or early years setting they think of a beautiful room, natural materials and an orderly aesthetic. And yes, there is an element of truth to this, but it is not the whole story. Learning is not orderly or aesthetic, it is organic and that means it can get messy, it can get chaotic, and th
Valentine's Day is one of those (many) traditions that I wonder why it is celebrated in early year's settings...
It is a tradition connected to romantic and sexual love - which I think is not the most suitable topic for the very young... But there is no getting away from it... there are hearts and the mention of love all over the place... I also reflect about all the activities that appear online just before Valentines day... a whole array of pink, and hearts and love...
So I thought I would put a few images together of some snow play... and share my snow play from yesterday... in fact I put a whole load of images and films into a a youtube film... as you can see below Taking lights and mirrors outside into the snow is a whole load of fun... just as taking paints outside is too.
Yesterday the temperatures were -10°C so the snow was light. fluffy and powdery - not good for building at all... but as the snow warmed up inside it transformed and
During a visit to London I spent a morning in the Natural History Museum, and it has inspired this post... I read the following... Which made me think of the Reggio Emilia Approach and the focus of the art studio/atelier as a language of learning. Using drawing and art as a method to look closer and to explore. This is something I have done over the years - myself as a child, and also as an educator. Art and creative expression has always been a strong path of exploration. Th
I am no fan of templates, colouring books and the like - I would much rather encourage the children to create from scratch - in much the same way I would much prefer to provide home-made food cooked from scratch than prefabricated food... BUT this post is to try and explore creativity from the perspective of children rather than from our own adult point of view. To do this I decided to go back to my own childhood, to root around in my own memories and how templates influenced