REGION: Southern Denmark

Snood Story: The Crystal (2022)

We have several things we are curious about. Firstly, how we can find a way to include music in our pedagogical work, how we can draw on children's joy of stories, how we can use digital media as part of it and, not least, how we can make room for the children's own suggestions and how we can do it in a way that gives the children courage to be the ones who stand up and do something.

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

It's generally gone well. We have tried out many different ideas and there has been a lot of flexibility so that things could be changed when necessary, which is important with this age group. The children have enjoyed the artist's visit and together we have come up with things that the children and we didn't usually experience. Especially the mix of creativity and digital media.

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

We created a fixed framework around two teddy bears and their interest in play, stories and music. However, the framework was made in a way that left room for the children themselves to unfold how the games should be. An example: The two teddy bears said that someone had taken their toys and things - and the children had to help find them. It turned into a game of find and when we had found the items, the children offered suggestions on what to play with the items. We hadn't prepared what was going to happen with the things.

The framework of the two teddy bears' story created a solid starting point for the children to play with the things they brought in. At first, they had to learn how the mix of storytelling and free play worked, but then they started to offer ideas on how to play with the items and come up with ideas that we then built on in the hallway.

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

Initially, we have mostly seen that some of the children have become a little better at playing with each other and that there is more courage to sing along and try things. But that was also what we were hoping for.

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

We still need to practice thinking freely and playfully, but now we find that we have some things we want to try in the creative field. So it has probably helped to shift our mindset a bit.

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

It's been exciting and different. There is a bit of uncertainty because of the more open approach to what we have to do. But also an experience that with action learning we have a tool that makes it easier to follow the children's tracks.

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

For the artist, it has been exciting to work with the target group of 3-4 year olds, who turned out to be capable of much more than the artist had expected. It has also been very exciting to be able to mix both the creative and the digital. Especially the part about creating small scenographic spaces with small effects. It has also been great to collaborate with Krystallen. It has very much been a co-creation where the artist also had to learn new things.

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

We are very curious to continue working with digital, where the children are involved, for example by mixing storytelling and technology, where the children make digital puppet shows.

We will also work more on bringing music in in a spontaneous way.

And we've become curious about doing more project-based learning.

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

We will try to use music more spontaneously and then we will probably try out ideas on how to work with digital puppetry.

- What points for attention should we take forward?

We still need to practice being more spontaneous, so it becomes an important focal point for us. How do we hold on to it?