Before our inset day I felt a bit nervous as to what the project may hold. We were soon made to feel comfortable by Alex and Martin. The question posed to us was “How can small changes provoke a cycle of engagement and interaction?” As a Reception team we began to think about our creative area and worked together to think of ways to engage the children further. As a team we had so many ideas. The project felt exciting and I left feeling inspired and wanted to start making changes straight away. My only question was: ‘would we have enough time to fully carry out the project?’
We were asked to think about a particular child in our setting who we could engage further through creative learning. We worked in pairs and used playdough to make a model representing our study child. I found myself watching our study child each week in the creative area as we carried out the changes we had discussed. This really made me think about how important our role is in supporting the children to achieve and understand their ideas, by questioning their thinking and posing the right questions. Our study child was communicating ideas by the end of the project.
I was lucky to have been in Nursery when Alex came in to work with us. It was a dark rainy day and there was a cozy atmosphere. The children went silent when Alex came in. The topic was senses, focussing on the sense “listening” for that particular week. Alex immediately captured the children’s attention by involving them in creating a thunderstorm using movements that made sounds. I think the children thought she was mad, but it totally worked! They were motivated! The children then began to draw the noises they had been making. For example one child made a rubbing sound by using the pen really hard on the paper and another child made a spikey sound by pushing their pen through the paper. Every child joined in and I couldn’t believe the Nursery children had sat for one whole hour and had produced some amazing mark making artwork. What a creative way of learning about the sense “listening”.
I was inspired by Alex’s work with the Nursery children and I began to think about different ways of engaging the children. One of the areas I particularly enjoy working in and setting up is the role play. I thought about ways I could engage the children further as they already loved playing in this area. As a team we also discussed ideas.
- The children now discuss ideas on what needs to be in the role play and what they want it to be. We display their ideas in speech bubbles.
- The children also decide on the layout by setting up the area. The children also clear away the area, when we are finished. They really enjoy putting things away around the school.
- They help to make the backdrops and the props for the role play in our creative area.
- One week the children bought in their own fruit and vegetables for our Green Grocers shop. We also used these for observational drawing and the children pained the fruit and vegetables onto a backdrop.
Overall the project has really given me the confidence to try out ideas new and old. It was fantastic how the team all came together. We also found the time to implement all of the changes we discussed in our creative area. We have been working on our art exhibition with our new intake of children, based on the book “Katie and the Dinosaurs”. I have really enjoyed watching the children, helping them to create their dinosaurs, and to try and understand their ideas. I watched a child filling a small box with orange pieces of plastic. “My dinosaur if full of electric” she said.`