MUNICIPALITY: Frederikshavn
DAILY OFFER: Kindergarten Øster Dahl

Snood story: Kindergarten Øster Dahl (2022)

Throughout the spring of 2022, we have worked with artist Lars Ditlev Johansen, who is an actor. All our 3 groups of children have been through a play art course.

Our curiosity about children's play has been decisive in relation to the play art process. As a staff group this spring, we have been preoccupied with child vision and child communities. Both concepts are part of the focus points that our pedagogical supervision has highlighted.

At the same time, we held a pedagogical day with a focus on children's views. In both contexts, the play art course has hit the mark. We have gained a new awareness of both children's views and children's communities. For us, it has created a nice connection between Play Art, pedagogical supervision and our pedagogical day.

In relation to Play Art, we were interested from the start in how we as adults could use ourselves as a "tool". How we could become more involved in the children's own initiating play as well as the adult-initiated activity. How could we, without props and tools in the room, trigger the children's imagination, education and strengthen the community?

How has the art of play left its mark on children and our everyday lives?

We are a nature and outdoor kindergarten, so part of our everyday life takes place outdoors. After the play art course, we have experienced that the children seek out the adults in order to initiate play. Example: Anton seeks out Maria and asks if they should play together? Maria joins in the play and an imaginative play with elements from play art is initiated. The game is joined by more children who participate. Even younger children who have not participated in the play art course. Anton says: "Why don't we play the game we played 100 years ago?" He was referring to a game that had previously been played at Play Art.

We have also had a child who has never experienced participating in play art come and tell us about their own "Heart Mouse". This confirms that children who HAVE participated in Play Art have shared their experiences with children who have NOT participated.

We still have a clear focus on how we as adults can be more participatory. We have initiated processes in the playground with games where the adult is compassionate and initiating. This creates a great community between children and adults, and there is always great participation from the group of children. Among other things, we play singing games, catch games and rule games such as "Come home my chickens".

After the session with the artist, the groups continued their work with Play Art. Their starting point was the recognizability that Lars had created: First the welcome circle, the Heart Mouse, and then with play as the engine of the community. And relaxation at the end. It has been a safe and secure way for the adult to go with the structure that was familiar from the course.

In addition, in the daily circle time in the groups, we have worked with framed activities in relation to fairy tales. We have played with the premise: "What happens next?". This method allows the children's imagination to flourish. We make fairy tales the focal point, and it can easily be a detour to bears, UFOs and ladybirds. It becomes everyone's game, everyone contributes and participates with exactly their own starting point. It is the adult's responsibility to ensure that all children's contributions are welcome and important and that everyone gets a sense of being part of the same game.

Play Art has given us the tools to engage in play without tools and props. The play art framework, which are tools like: The ability to embrace chaos, turmoil, wild Komodo dragons, gentle princesses and sleeping butterflies. It's simple, straightforward actions like: "I had a dream about a lake" or "Why don't you go look out the window and see if you can see a bird?" that can infuse the community with imagination and initiate an aesthetic learning process.

Kindergarten Øster Dahl June 2022.