MUNICIPALITY: Southern Denmark

Short story: Gårslev (2022)

From our daily pedagogical work, we know that children love storytelling and music, but we usually do it as stand-alone activities. But can we get better at including it in our pedagogical work in other areas? For example, in relation to nature and science, which take up a lot of space in our everyday lives. And can we do it in a way that gives children even more space to play?

- How have you experienced the co-creation between artist/cultural educator/cultural school teacher, educators and children and possibly researcher?

It has been an exciting collaboration, where we received good input, but also offered ideas ourselves. For example, we seized the opportunity at Halloween and made our own Halloween forest for the children. The forest was made under some trees in the Playgroup's garden and became a great example of collaboration and how we could all contribute to creating a good experience for the children. And an experience where the children could control what they wanted to play and in what order they wanted to play.

- How have children's perspectives been expressed/included?

We have kept in mind that the children are the ones who take things out of the suitcase and thus control the direction of play. This means that even though we had some things in mind, things have taken turns we hadn't expected because the children thought differently.

- Do children play different games and with different people than usual?

It's still a little too early to tell. But we think it will have a knock-on effect if we remember to create spaces for art and cultural games.

- How do pedagogical staff act differently than they did before PlayArt?

It's also a bit early to judge, but we were already very interested in what singing and storytelling can do, so we think we'll incorporate what we've learned - and perhaps more importantly, we find it exciting to develop our own stuff, so we hope to do that a bit more in the future.

- What has it been like to work with action learning?

It has been very exciting and we think we did it in a way that can be used at our company another time. In a busy workday, it's not often that you have time to reflect on your own practice.

- To the artist/cultural mediator/cultural school teacher, if present: What have you gained from participating in PlayArt?

The artist has been very happy to be part of the process. Both because it is a new and exciting professional group for him to work with and because he already feels that what we have created can be taken to daycare centers as well. We have developed fun ideas together, especially when we created an outdoor Halloween forest that the children could explore on their own.

- What are the pedagogical staff still/now curious about?

They are curious to learn more about how to incorporate art and culture into their daily pedagogical work.

- How will you use art, culture and aesthetic processes in the further process?

We want to use it in new contexts. It's obvious to explore how it can contribute to strengthening other pedagogical themes.

- What points for attention should we take forward?

In order for it all to work for us, it is important that it can be incorporated into small everyday experiences. Both in the playroom and when we are alone.