Painting your own canvas

abstract-painting-art-artistic-1927573

Recently I have been having many conversations about creativity as I am beginning to open a creative channel that I wasn’t totally certain existed before.

I know that I am not an artist in the sense that I can’t paint or draw to a level that I would be prepared to share with anyone else confidently.

However, I do recognise my creativity as I now don’t try to define it as anything other than what I choose to represent.  I have begun to really enjoy writing again as it is for pleasure.

I do recall a couple of years ago not knowing where to start, and it is something that I see in my young students.

It is difficult to face a blank canvas and just expect inspiration to fly out…

having a point of reference or prompt helps with this though.

It is a total process to bring our ideas and visions to life and translate them from thought to image or product; whether that be a piece of art, writing or music or anything else that was once a concept.

I have loved watching as two of my students are falling in love with writing – they are hungry to learn and explore the power of communication. By creating opportunities for them to experiment in everyday contexts it becomes even more meaningful and I believe this to be true whatever stage of life you are at.

It is so humbling to be learning to write at the same time as the children I am guiding from the beginning and hopefully encouraging them to embrace their sense of who they are creatively. 

There is more than one way to play..

It seems that I have been talking about play non stop these past few days though it has been at the centre of my life ever since I decided to study Early Childhood education over 25 years ago.

I sometimes forget that I know what I know when talking to others about play.

Did you know that there are stages of play?

Play actually begins from very early infancy as connections are established through the attachment of a baby to those who nurture and protect them. There are connections made as communication begins. This continues as children grow and develop as they interact with the world and the people and objects around them.

Once children reach ‘toddlerhood’ then children explore play often in solitude even though there are others around them. It is at this time that there is a desire to experience everything all at once!

Solitary play is an immersive process where the player learns to explore and connect  with the things around them.

baby-beautiful-child-1257105

As children progress and their needs and wants change and they identify themselves as social beings play moves into a parallel experience. An opportunity to start to recognise that others may share the same interests although this does not always mean that the individual participants will have the desire to interact verbally.

adorable-blur-bubble-218833

Co-operative play occurs when two or more players intentionally share their ideas and experiences and often want to reach a similar outcome from their activity. This is also a time when children get to establish deeper connections with others and explore concepts like turn taking, learning that we all have our own perceptions and relationship building.

blur-children-close-up-1582736

 

“Enter into children’s play and you will find the place where their minds, hearts and souls meet..”  Virginia Axline

 

 

 

 

Stop taking away learning opportunities from children

This, is of course, easier said than done, especially when we feel time poor, feel overwhelmed or if it is just one of those days where it feels like nothing will get done if we don’t intervene as adults. This makes it all the more problematic because the means don’t actually justify the ends.

The term “robbing Peter to pay Paul” comes to mind here, and this often ends up feeling like a haze of unintended anxiousness that permeates our spaces between adults and children.

Each and every time we ‘do’ something for a child that they could have done for themselves inadvertently sends a message that what they are doing is in some way not ‘right’ and when they observe this it can lead to feelings including :

  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Helplessness
  • Disinterest
  • Avoidance

Children want to feel confident and capable as they see modelled around them constantly by older peers and adults who have had the time and experience to develop and refine their skills.

Please let your child have the same opportunity to master tasks and the associated emotions that correlate through the journey of learning, with support, modelling and guidance they deserve.

When did you last make time for not much at all?

Whether you are a person who likes to stay in their PJ’s, have a relaxing massage, indulge in a movie or any other activity that ‘fills your cup’ when did you last make time for it? By doing things you enjoy, you allow others to also get the best of you. For most of us it is hard to stop and do nothing, but the JOMO (Joy of Missing Out) is so much more fun to consider when you think of its alternative – FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).

If we are the most important role models in our children’s lives, we must remember that they are absorbing everything we say and do. If we want strong, resilient future generations, then it is essential that we show them the happiness and health come from within, and that makes it easier to live in an internal world that provides peace, certainty and comfort to survive and thrive the external.

The Game of Life

black-background-chance-close-up-1111597

I have begun a new project that is taking me on a brand new journey. It involves  learning from the view of adult players. I was asked to help by a colleague to invite business owners into the online world and beyond.

Stay tuned for more information and inspiration as this project takes place in which I will be creating more transferrable resources that will be brought to life in this space.