Snow story: Børnehuset Mariakringlen (2021)
Our partner and the LegeKunst group:
- Jakob Tækker, image and animation artist.
- Johan Bundgaard Nielsen, PhD student at DPU.
- Jane Hooge, Associate Professor, KP Copenhagen.
- Joan and Camilla, educators in MariaKringlen.
- Ida Wettendorff, children's culture consultant in Helsingør municipality.
- Eva Meyer; Legkunst ambassador in Helsingør municipality and leader.
- Sanne, manager at MariaKringlen.
.... But then came the 1st wave of Corona.
This meant that the whole project was put on hold over the summer, and when we finally got started, we had to divide the group of children by room. Our everyday life was different and very divided, both inside the house and on the playground.
We had a shared understanding of the project; but different perspectives:
Jakob's perspective was visual arts. The educators' was whether the children were strengthened with new skills that they could use in everyday friendships. Johan looked at "inspiration for children's imaginative play", how educators influence children's creative and imaginative play. Jane was concerned with: "the role of the educator in children's encounter with art and culture", how the educator can be given the courage and skills to include art in the pedagogical work.
My role as a leader was to focus on the process and not the product (unfortunately, I only participated sporadically in evaluations etc. not in everyday life) But even though we had different perspectives, the ADULTS learned to use each other's skills, they learned to COLLABORATE and COLLABORATE. They played each other well. ..."We are a good team!".
Days with PlayArt were days with high ceilings, lots of laughter, high spirits and Aha - experiences for the adults. The adults celebrated the community, and when the adults around the children do this, the children do the same. The first 5 times when Jakob was responsible for input, the focus was on collaboration in pairs or several together. For example, getting a petanque ball with paint to roll in a large box. The children worked together and created a beautiful piece of art.
The children learned how to mix colors and became very interested in it. Experimented with color in the playground; all playhouses got new colors. They created plaster casts of holes in the sandbox and made imprints of things on the playground. The educators were challenged and practiced to let go of control and see where the activity was leading the children. They became more focused on following the children's tracks. They got carried away and immersed themselves, being in the Now and they learned that not everything needs to have a goal, an end product. The children became more empowered.
The educators became interested in how they used their communication in relation to Asking what the children had gained from the day's PlayArt.
A new language for mixing colors emerged.
As Johan was asked:
A 4 year old boy: " Hey, are you an artist?"
Johan: "No I'm not, you're the artist".
And that's how all the children and adults who participated in the PlayArt project became artists. The children got a great benefit from the PlayArt Days, they gained more courage and desire for creative activities when there is no end product. It created more calm and flow for both children and adults. They became more exploratory in their approach to the material.
Our point of wondering changed along the way as we became more concerned with:
Community, co-creation and collaboration. Freeing ourselves, both children and adults. But most importantly, we made new friends for a while. Thanks to Jakob, Johan and Jane.
On behalf of MariaKringlen, Sanne Ingemann Andersen.