Snout story: Vilesvej and Bjørnen kindergartens (2021)
The journey started with sounds......
The kindergartens Vilesvej and Bjørnen are of approximately the same size and standardization. Within the coming year (2022), the two institutions will merge into one kindergarten. Together, they have chosen to focus on their beneficiary groups, which consist of 2.9 to 4-year-old children. A choice they have made, as it is these groups that will be merged when the two kindergartens unite.
The following text will first discuss the observations that have led to the overall wonder. Next, the wondering itself will be described in the form of a question, after which the aesthetic processes will be explained. Finally, it will reflect on what the play art has contributed and what the kindergartens will continue to work on in the future.
Observations & wonder
In kindergarten Vilesvej, the educators have observed that the children have been busy making noises with sticks on a fence, banging on pots and pans, as well as discovering echo sounds by shouting into buckets.
In the Bjørnen kindergarten, a wall has been set up for a long time with fixed objects that the children have been able to bang on and thus play with sounds. In addition, together with the adults, the children have made wind chimes out of various recycled items, reeds and other plants that make sounds in the wind.
The overarching question is: How can you use nature's materials to co-create musical art, based on the children's own exploratory approach?
The aesthetic processes
Based on this wondering, music educator Malene (the artist) was brought in. The artist, the daycare center managers, pedagogical staff and the play art supervisor met for a start-up reflection. Together they created the aesthetic framework for the common third. By making songs about everyday repetitive events - such as washing hands and eating packed lunches - trivial processes were turned into aesthetic and experiential events.
Out on the playground, sticks were also found and the children learned a song with a playful approach about what they could play with the sticks. Taking turns ensured that attention was paid to the individual child. Here is the example of the child standing at a distance from the larger group of children. The child sees the wooden ship in the second round of the song, excitedly exclaims "ship", thus building on the rhythmic play. The child expands their understanding of the world and develops themselves. Play thus contributes to children's education.
Further community input from the music artist was a reimagining of The Three Billy Goats, where the goats and the troll each had their own song. This led to spontaneous games inspired by the story.
What playfulness has contributed
The aesthetic processes have been fantastic. Having immersion over a longer period of time gives a better opportunity to follow the children's tracks and grasp what develops in everyday life. There is room for everyone and the children are met where they are. The fact that the aesthetic processes are based on repeatable everyday events means that everyone rests in the process over time.
LegeKunst has pushed boundaries, but it has done so gently and almost unnoticed. Everyone across the kindergartens has become braver together. No one is afraid to fool around and get carried away. A culture that rubs off on the children.
Working with PlayArt is a never-ending process. In the new year, the kindergartens Vilesvej and Bjørnen will meet to find objects for new sounds that they can play, sing and play with together. The kindergartens will also continue to sing the wash-your-hands and packed lunch song. The hope behind this is that the two groups of children will realize that they already have a lot in common when they move into the new Svanen kindergarten.