Snow story: Kindergarten Hyldgård (2022)
At Børnehaven Hyldgård, we have taken the overall wondering as our starting point: How can we implement theater and storytelling in daily life, with everyday theater as the overall focus, including a focus on utilizing the kindergarten's own facilities.
From the beginning of the project, the action group has agreed on a loose structure within an overall set framework, which has contributed to a good dynamic where everyone has been able to contribute with their own thoughts, ideas and reflections, and where the processes have been able to adapt to children and adults on an ongoing basis.
During the process, we have first and foremost become aware of the necessity of creating/establishing a space prior to an activity, and how you can soften/elevate a mood with a few tools and thus invite the children into a pre-determined mood. In the same context, we have become aware of the importance of framing and how we can create a framework for the space as well as the story; for example, entering into a fiction contract; possibly a visual marking of the stage floor, costumes, an ending marked with applause, etc.
We have worked with the expression: "YES - AND?" which has become a fundamental focus throughout the process and an expression that the action group has subsequently adopted. The phrase is used especially in storytelling scenes where the children's contributions are never considered wrong. We tell a story about a dancing dino, to which a child interrupts: he was a monster, and we reply: "YES, THE DINO WAS A MONSTER - EVERY TUESDAY."
Here it is about grasping and SAYING YES to the children's ideas, which we have observed leads to increased self-confidence and more success experiences, where the children feel included and the reluctant/observant children are more confident to offer and share themselves, which rubs off on children and adults alike. The term can be used on a general level in everyday life, where we can use the term in an inclusive way to turn a no into a yes without the child feeling rejected.
From the beginning of the project, the ambition has been to spread PlayArt to the entire house, which is why we have involved several different groups of children in the respective activities, so that the youngest, middle and oldest children in alternating groups have been involved in everything from puppet theater, storytelling, sound-music workshop, drawing-to-music, bringing objects to life, etc.
At a general level, we in the action group have subsequently been able to use several tools in everyday life, including the YES-OG rule, framing, creating space, storytelling techniques and awareness of one's own role: Who leads in the activity and who supports. This awareness has contributed to immersion, where the leader is set free to do so - knowing that others are supporting/backing them up. This has given rise to greater flexibility and peace to empathize and experience TOGETHER with the children and not just be present on a superficial level.
The staff are still curious about how we can cement PlayArt as an ongoing stream in the house. Together with the project's associated actor, we have developed a so-called PLAYBOOK: an inspiration catalog for various theater games that will be available to the entire staff group. We have also been inspired by PLAY ART as the theme for our upcoming summer camp, where storytelling will play an important role and involve the entire staff group.
We will continue to make use of aesthetic processes, including in everyday gathering situations, where we can contribute to achieving greater immersion and empathy in the group of children with a few tools such as sound, light, clear introduction and conclusion.
The work in the action group has generally been characterized by commitment and trust, with room to dare to be generous with oneself and dare to overcome one's own limitations. We have become braver together with the children. There are several examples of this. A child who is initially shy and doesn't dare to talk about his or her drawing to music, later dares to offer to be the center of attention. An adult feels it's uncomfortable to take control and "play theater," but puts his own insecurities aside in spite of them - and is nourished by the commitment and YES mentality of the children and others.
Overall, LegeKunst has contributed to a greater awareness of the importance of aesthetic processes and given rise to a discussion of the kindergarten's own facilities - including our music room, which could use optimization with a stage curtain, lamps, etc. We have also brought out our costumes from the basement.
In the future, we will pay attention to spreading the knowledge to the entire pedagogical staff, thereby cultivating cohesion and common will, so that together we can keep PlayArt alive, develop, experience and, above all, empathize with the children. Only then does the energy that we have only experienced in glimpses so far, but which is allowed to exist as a bubbling stream in everyday life, emerge. Only here does it become Play ART.