Magical spaces and stop-singing win out at Villa Kulla
Villa Kulla is an integrated day care centre in Holbæk Municipality. There are 8 mild-specialised places for children in vulnerable positions who need to be included in the general offer. The children's home has a total of 60 children, 11 educators, 3 assistants and 1 student. For LegeKunst, there have been 3 groups of children (45 children), 9 adults + 1 student, which means all 3 groups of the kindergarten, Sole, Stars and Moons, with their permanent adults.
The Sun and Stars have participated in music and drama and the Moons have participated in visual arts.
The whole of Villa Kulla including the nursery has been to the Fair Play Theatre to see "Big and Small" by Art Hotel, and the whole of Villa Kulla has been to the theatre to see both groups of children's own performances of Big and Small.
All adults have participated in a comprehensive PlayArt staff day, where we got a much deeper insight into PlayArt and the thoughts and participation of the researchers, as well as practical workshops in drama, visual arts and music.
At the time of writing, the physical magical abiding space is still under development and we still have the last part to go where the educators are on 75/25, but as the artists have been out of the house since November 2020, node 1 will be here - node 2 will follow during the summer of 2021.
Overall, the institution has buzzed with life and creativity across all groups. Both children and adults have been inspired by LegeKunst and each other and there has been singing, playing and painting even after the artists were out of the house. LegeKunst has proved to be great at accommodating and coming up with ideas for children who are struggling and in vulnerable positions.
In Villa Kulla I often hear PlayArt mentioned, both in everyday life and at our meetings. We have recently, based on the New Strengthened Curriculum, planned themes throughout the year for all groups. Here too, we made sure that Play Art was part of the upcoming activities being planned.
The word and meaning of PlayArt now has a place in our culture and our collegiate storytelling in everyday life. I hear that the groups that have participated have brought different perspectives that are brought up almost every time we discuss an activity or program. And boy, some professional conversations it makes at meetings and in our daily evaluation. There really are some movers and shakers who know how to connect the dots. LegeKunst also plays a huge role in our dialogue about ensuring a child perspective.
I find that the different ways of looking at it by the employees gives dynamics and makes it exciting. We are constantly curious about how to get the best quality out of our themes and activities and how to develop the new knowledge that comes along. It will be a task to equip future staff in relation to the knowledge and experiences we have gained in relation to LegeKunst. But such are the rules of the game .
Our question was: ... how children practice tolerance, looking out for each other and accepting when you are met with a "STOP" and that this stop request from a playmate is as right and OK as what you want and believe in.
We find that the children still need to be guided to accept each other's stops, but that it has become easier for the children who are linguistically challenged to use and have the understanding of the word stop.
Many children still use stop singing as a tool.
We also find that the children have started to play with other children than they used to, but it is difficult to assess whether this is because of new groups or LegeKunst.
How the aesthetic, art and culture are used in other ways:
Some of the children make their own stories, after which they make a 3 dimensional book. Each child reads their story and all the children help to dramatise the story.
A group of adults has been inspired to use other materials in creative activities. Other adults are using the drama tools we have been introduced to, and we have become more aware of using drama in song games and when it otherwise fits in.
Children's perspectives, the playful, the sensory and experiential have been very much in focus. Several of our snap narratives have been about the children's preoccupation with the processes both in the present and in subsequent conversations, and the fact that this has been shared. We also have a number of snap narratives that have been about how the children who have particular challenges in participating in the community have nevertheless been given meaningful roles and tasks in the process and have thereby experienced joy, success and engagement in participating in the community. So yes... PlayArt is also a great tool and approach to include our children in vulnerable positions.
One small success story is that after a drama session, the children give their words on the experience. Almost all children say what they thought was particularly funny, or that the whole thing was fun. One child says "I don't think anything has been fun. I'm one of those kids who hates everything too" We, the educators and the artists talk about it together and come up with an idea to get the child involved. The child ends up participating very actively in the rest of the process and ends up saying about himself "I am the best drummer in the world" After LegeKunst, he and a group of children (with adult help) start their own band in the kindergarten.
How it relates to the curriculum:
Many of our snap stories have been linked to the curricula, so we've got a lot in there. In addition, we can add:
- Language: verbally challenged children have benefited greatly from visual arts, where they could express themselves through pictures. In the theatre part we have developed our body language, imagination and spoken language.
- Body: When you are a frog, you move like a frog but you also get the feeling of being a frog.
- Outdoors and science: we have been in nature and used its resources to create something together and we have experimented with nature's resources and colours.
- Personal development: that the children have acquired greater self-esteem, for example a boy who has always had difficulty expressing himself in large gatherings, but during the project he has developed the ability to express himself through drama.
- Social competence: the children have learned that they each had something to contribute to the community and nothing could be done without.
We have just prepared the meta-evaluation for the year 2019/2020. This showed that both the nursery and kindergarten should pay more attention to the curriculum theme of Culture, Aesthetics and Community.
With Project PlayArt, the entire building has now received a boost on this account, as with PlayArt we emphasize that the educational learning environment through play, imagination, creativity and curiosity should support that all children participate in equal and different forms of communities, cultural backgrounds, norms and values.
We have gained a lot of inspiration for future creative processes based on the children's own tracks, stories and involvement in music, theatre and visual arts.
A group of children built their very own Corona monster last month, pasted with their own statements about the "stupid corona"
Right now we are building on small programmes where the children poem their own stories which are then played with, painted, sensed and sung. Processes that take place in the children's house and out in nature. Well, we're not quite sure where that will take us.... time will tell.
We have made a point of hanging up pictures from the different processes as the children love to reminisce and talk about the different processes.
And of course we're looking forward to inaugurating our space in the playground, which Bente and Anita have been in charge of brightening up.
In conclusion, we are still working on our snip story but both children and adults have made a very good shared memory. The children have seen each other as a group and have formed new relationships.
We will soon be saying goodbye to a large group of children who are going to school and welcoming many new ones. So new tasks await us in relation to our point of wonder :- )
Thank you for a fantastic programme at a time when we needed it most.