Snow story: Børnehuset Troldehøj (2022)
We have had Pia (artist) visit us and we have played in nature.
The two participating groups were the oldest nursery school children and the youngest kindergarten children.
Both children and adults have enjoyed the arrival of an outsider with a new and exciting gathering point/starting point for our play and socializing.
Together we have enjoyed the sensory experiences with clay, which could be: smooth, hard, dry, wet, soft, rough with sand in it, etc.
The biggest benefit to staff:
- Time to sit on the ground and be at eye level with a small group of children
- Experiencing the immediate mirroring, where we experience something together and reconcile both with words and facial expressions what sensory and emotional experience we are having
- That we have had Pia as a sparring partner who has had the agenda of "forcing us" to be curious and present. We have had many conversations about letting go of control - being in the moment and not having to constantly keep an eye on where the other children were - as it said in our snippet story "We want to get better at letting ourselves get carried away"
- Increased attention to following the child's lead - we were already doing this, but adding a new element makes it clearer to us what's happening in play
- We have practiced the role of the adult who sets the framework; "Today we play with clay and water", "Today we take the clay into the forest" etc. and then just be with the children and see where their wonder and desire to experiment takes us
For example, some of these points can be seen in this snap written by one of the educators:
"I've gotten better at being in that I don't have them all together all the time (eye on). We went into the forest and put clay on the trees. We have some tree stumps that work well as little tables, so I sat down at one and had two girls in particular around me, but the others came and went and showed me things. Not everything had to do with clay, but some of it did. One of the two girls does a lot of pressing the clay a bit flat and decorating it with things - sand, small branches, etc. She went on for a really long time and was very much in her own world - a picture of immersion :0) The other girl, on the other hand, demanded my attention and had to constantly tell me what she was doing and get input and help. We pressed her hand into the clay to make an impression, crumpled the clay and did it again - many times"
It has been an exciting project, but there have also been structural challenges, especially at the end, with staff shortages etc. that made it a little difficult to pull together in the end.
We also found that at one point it was difficult to keep the children's attention.
We will continue to work on incorporating such small initiatives into everyday life and follow the children's footsteps. When there is time and peace and quiet for it, we can easily see the great value.
Ulla Kirkelund Bæk
Head of Department