This post is a collection of posts from my previous blog site... now put together as one... this makes a long read but I have divided them as chapters here, so you can have a break if you wish... I am a mother, an early years teacher/consultant and also a wife of a professor of sleep research .My husband sent me an article - I have found some of my own - and so I am going to try and piece together some science and some experience in the preschool world together in the effort
(på svenska efter alla bilder) In October 2018 I visited two "I Ur och Skur" preschools on Lidingö, just outside Stockholm City.
I Ur och Skur means directly in hour and shower (UR is an old word for clock, or a word outside, or original as urskog means virgin forest (original untouched forest) - it can also be translated as the saying Rain or Shine - as in "come rain or shine" = no matter what. And that is the ethos of this approach... that the play and learning can be outs
Another post sharing inspiration and reflections from AnjiPlay in China... this time with a focus on Sand and water play to find out more about the construction materials why not check out Construction Play or just click onto the tag or category AnjiPlay to find all the other posts I have written so far... What I noticed was that these were not small sandboxes. The schools had made the considered decision to create sand areas that are both expansive AND deep so that the child
The International Fairy Tea Party is more than just a bit of fun... it is fun, and it is meant to be a whole heap of fun... but there is more to it...
There are more and more articles lamenting the loss of play, about the lack of value imagination is given within the curriculum (despite people considering it important that we are creative), about a lack of connection with nature, about gender divides and stereotypes, the need to have empathy and understanding with other cul
Since my visit to Anji, China in May I have been sharing posts containing images of the settings for 3-6 year old children. These posts have been met with excitement and also apprehension... this idea that it feels impossible... that level of risk, that kind of play would never work here, people are too afraid.
I want to point out that this is very much the case in China too. The kindergartens in Anji that are using the AnjiPlay pedagogy are very divergent from the norm of
This is another post inspired by my time in China and my visits to the AnjiPlay settings. This post will focus on the construction materials... and really part of me has kind of been putting this post off because there is JUST SO MUCH to write and share about this... So I know that this post is not going to really be able to do justice to the materials and how they are presented and used... I think the first thing that really hits you is the sheer amount of materials that are
(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
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
To help or not to help. This is a post I first wrote in 2013, but I still find it is relevant to share again...
We strive to support the children to be competent, to be confident in their abilities and to be problem solvers. So every now and again I feel quite frustrated (and do my utmost to hide that frustration) when children say "I can't..." without even attempting.
On Mondays we have "children's choice" - the children get to choose whether they are inside or outside d
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 I look back and reflect on my experience in Anji County, China and visiting the AnjiPlay kindergartens/preschools I wonder about my own approach to something new and i realise that it ties in with my observations of preschoolers at new locations... When I take a group of preschoolers to a new space (whether it be a play-space, forest, museum etc) what I see is that the children have a desire to look around, the do not settle into deep play as they usually do in a space fam
This is the first in a series about my visit to China to learn about AnjiPlay...
This and coming posts will be my process of sorting my thoughts and reflections of my experience and my interpretation os what i heard and saw. To learn more about AnjiPlay I recommend that you go direct to the source and learn from those in Anji actively engaged in this play focussed pedagogy. True Play is not about children's free play... free play is outside an educational institution. This i
This post was first written on the 17th January 2014.. I am now sharing it here on my new website, as I think it is still relevant, and it includes some new reflections and updates... Marc Armitage linked the story of a three year old child that had died at her preschool entangled in a rope on the slide...here is the link and the comments from others about that link...
Here is a link to the story in The Guardian that Marc had linked and the same story as it continues in the
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
On Friday I will be setting off from a rather chilly Stockholm, Sweden for the county of Anji in China - which is considerably warmer than it is here. I have been following AnjiPlay now for some years and have been captivated by the outdoor play scenes and the equipment that they have chosen to
you can read here about the Anji Approach to children's rights in their play - True Play. That is the name of the conference... The True Play conference... bringing together various
Suzanne: Getting the opportunity to listen to you talk at the Play on Early Childhood Conference in Athens in mid April was a magical moment for me... it was like listening to someone who spoke the same language as myself. The magic door. This border between adulthood and childhood, between reality and imagination, between chronos and aeon. It reminded me so clearly of why I started the International Fairy Tea Party in 2013 - not just a celebration of play and imagination but
At the end of April in Sweden there is the Valborg celebration - where bonfires are lit around the country to give the sun strength and to sing and welcome spring. This year, like last year, spring has started unusually early here in Stockholm, but all the same there will be bonfires lit, sausages eaten and songs sung... Young children might not fully understand the whole process of the bonfire... if they are up late enough to see there fires... its a mix... I have seen plent
I really love all resources that allow us to see the diversity of life and nature - and so this post is sharing a poster I have come across showing a variety of ladybirds... or ladybugs as some call them.
As a child I had inherited my mother's fear of insects... by observing her behaviour and mirroring it... I made the conscious decision as a mother to hide my fear of insects from my children so that they could develop their own relationship with creepy crawlies... I am ha
I am a big believer in play.
for me it is an essential ingredient in life. And for those of you getting to know more about my idea of Original Learning understand that learning is woven into the play, and that play is not woven into the learning like it seems to be (if you are lucky) in most school systems around the world. At the same time I am somewhat concerned about adults harnessing play in the name of learning. Play is a human right... it is something that is fundament