Short story: The fairytale grove (2022)
At Eventyrlunden, we wanted inspiration for how we can work with a greater focus on process rather than product in artistic and creative processes. Fewer templates and more focus on the children's expression.
Furthermore, we have been interested in identifying children's communities and the child perspective, and in inclusive communities.
Our wonder in LegeKunst was therefore:
How can we use PlayArt to create inclusive communities where all children actively participate and build relationships? And how can we make more room for children's imagination, play and self-expression in aesthetic learning processes?
In Eventyrlunden, we wanted to work with fairy tales, and we wanted to do so through music, visual arts and drama.
What have we done?
First, all children went to the Fair Play Theater to see the performance Lillebitte Kæmpestor. Then all involved staff attended a theoretical, but mostly practical workshop day with the artists and researchers. Here we also met the song that the musician had composed for our project. I wonder if I'll grow up one day, I'll always be small like now. It made the hairs on my arms stand up.
Then the programs started with the children. The Hottentots had visual arts, the Brumbasses had music and the Big Group had drama. In the end, these three programs came together in a joint performance created by the children and performed for the other children at the theater. It was planned to invite parents to a movie night where they could hear about LegeKunst and watch the movie from the children's performance, but due to Corona, it was unfortunately canceled.
What have we experienced and learned?
The kids have loved it. When the artists arrived, the children could hardly wait for it to start, and the children have continued playing, singing and drawing when the artists left. Child communities and the children's perspective could be traced in the fact that all children participated actively and engaged, and the children's ideas and own expressions were constantly put into play. From here, cliff jumps, teasing monkeys, mermaids, sailing trips to Australia, etc. entered the playful stories, which were invented in the moment and then rehearsed for the performance. Based on the artists' presentations, there was freedom to come up with their own ideas, which put both children and educators on creative work in the community, and here several children have surprised. Anja (educator): "We were absolutely sure that Dreng wouldn't participate. And he looked really angry at first. Anita (artist) sat down next to him. But then he joined in and he came up with a lot of ideas. It was really special."
The teachers took the inspiration to heart. In drama, the children loved the hand puppet Benny, so together with the educators, the children created their own hand puppets, which they still play with today. Master Jakel dolls have also been found and are part of the children's play. In the music group, the red dot that started the universe magically moved into the living room, where it still moves around and creates new stories.
Where are we now?
Everyone at Eventyrlunden agrees that it has been a good, exciting and enriching collaboration. And the energy is still alive!
Drama team - Lissi's (educator) words: The children still play with their hand puppets and play self-initiated theater games. In the room, they have Master Jakel dolls, which is now a big part of the children's play. They play guessing games about fairy tales. In the spring, the adults will start making their own fairy tale with the children.
Music team - Britt (educator): When the children choose songs, they often choose the songs they have sung and played with Merete (musician). And now they want drums, so there are drums too. The red dot still takes up a lot of space and magically moves around the room. A girl who we haven't previously cracked the code to participate and understand activities in the room is now the one who knows the song from the theater by heart. She sings along and sings cleanly, and she loves it.
Visual arts - Jan (educator): Bente Visual Arts is now called Bente PlayArt in the room. And Bente has left her mark. Inspiring! Now I connect stories to visual art. Make the processes a whole for the children instead of just saying Draw.
The children have developed aesthetic competence, and when we start creating the physical magical space, we will create our own course. We hold the parent event that was previously canceled. Here we present to the parents what we have done and what the children are now going to do inspired by LegeKunst.
Summing up our wonder:
Focusing on inclusion, child perspective and the child's own expression, all the children (and teachers) in the group have actively and enthusiastically participated in the joint creative processes. The educational aspect of this is of course important for each individual child. They have listened, they have played, they have each given their own expression and developed aesthetic competence, and seeing how Merete got the small children to play together without ever raising their voices has been both magical and inspiring.
Seeing the children perform together at the theater, where the whole process also started, created magic, community and a lot of moist eye corners among the participants - children and adults alike.
Børnehuset Eventyrlunden and PlayArt Supervisor Anita Nielsen