Snow story: Børnehuset Egeskov (2022)
The children from Børnehuset Egeskov have been working with Ole Lund Kirkegaard's stories "Otto is a rhinoceros" and "Little Virgil and Orla the Frog Snapper".
- How has it been going in terms of our wondering?
We dream of being more free to play a different role on the children's home turf. We are curious about how pedagogy and the artistic qualities can unfold in interaction. Our question was therefore "are we loose when we play with the children"?
Emma has taken us into the world of art in relation to staging the setting based on Ole Lund Kirkegaard's stories and the children have embraced it with vivid imagination. As pedagogical staff, we have had to cross boundaries to play along in the beginning. The creative workshop with Emma was crucial, and in every way we were together in being playful. Now it is very much about taking those experiences in relation to letting go of all the reins in the play with the children.
- What's next?
Based on adult-initiated play, where we make room for a story and set a "scene", we will let go of the reins together with the children and build on their stories and imagination. This could be, for example, drawing Otto with your finger and calling your finger a pencil and then bringing the drawing of Otto to life and imagining the rhino suddenly coming out of the wall.
- What are we still curious about?
We still need to be aware of whether to start with the story for the little ones and then play afterwards, as it can be difficult for them to zap in and out between story and play. It is important that there is plenty of time for play. Whereas the older children can better understand and follow the process. We have learned this lesson and we must continuously adapt to the children. That being said, we must also remember our wonder and we as pedagogical staff remember to be loose. We are so good at focusing on the children and following their initiatives. We still need to challenge ourselves and play along as a child, which allows us to meet the children differently than we do in other contexts.
- What have we learned about how arts and culture can promote play and education?
Perhaps we need to be outside more as the environment in the cushion room can be distracting for little ones. We found that the outdoor space provides a relaxed stage for creativity and reality to unfold.
It makes sense to keep it age-specific so that everyone gets the most out of the course, as there is a big difference in concentration.
We should start with the story for the little ones and then play afterwards, as it can be difficult for them to zap in and out between story and play. It's important to leave plenty of time for play. Whereas the older children can better understand and follow the story.
The children bring the game into the room and continue playing, are curious about the story, children who normally don't take the lead suddenly become part of the story.
The adults were really good at getting into the story and playing along with the roles they had to perform.
In relation to the formation process of the children, LegeKunst makes it natural for ALL children to be part of a larger community. ALL children get the feeling that "I am part of this social community" and "I am helping to tell the story to others" (the exhibition). The children take on the role of the strong man in Little Virgil and are able to express themselves in a different way than when we are not in the world of Play Art. This courage is included in the child's educational journey.
- What have we gained from working with action learning and co-creation in PlayArt
We now know that there must be time set aside in the weekly structure and extra time to play based on the story. This is an art, as pedagogical staff must keep the children engaged in the play, the imagination, the story. In addition, we must let go of the reins and be more free. Art and pedagogy can do something very special when we mix elements from both. For example, a boy who doesn't always find it easy to offer himself in play can be given a large and recognized role in a scene and then let his imagination determine the play with the other children. In this way, this boy can learn a way to be part of other games. Together with the children, through storytelling, acting, singing and playing, we can see the children in roles other than the usual everyday routines. As educators, we can meet the children in a different and more equal and appreciative way when we are both rhinos, for example.