I was sat at the table with the last few children of the day playing with play-dough, until there was just one child left and we had a wonderful role-play interaction with the play-dough with snakes and snails - oh and lots of lots of glitter - we took out the red glitter and sprinkled it like a spice over the play-dough and then rolled it into the dough! We also had access to rolling pins, coloured match-sticks (just the stick bits of course) as well as cookie cutters.
The four year old rolled out some dough and then used a match stick to create a circle in the smooth surface. I was inspired - I thanked her for her great idea and rolled out some dough too and started to make pictures by making small dots with the match sticks. Then I experimented with the cookie cutters - can small triangles be cut out by using just part of it, can we make patterns by pressing only lightly. My young friend tested out similar things.
When I was finished the child asked me if she could use my camera "we need to take photos of your artwork". So she borrowed the camera and took several photos, including the art left behind by 2 year old of a hedgehog. This is my big nikon camera - with zoom and everything - so she has to work out how to gently press the button and then hold it until there is focus and then the camera takes the shot. She needs and understanding of the technology. She also tested out the zoom. Luckily the camera is quite light for its size. I had the strap around my neck - and she came in and used the camera, so the photo session also offered a closeness and requires that I listen and feel her moves and desires so that I do not hinder her in any way - maybe not optimal but it worked well in this one to one session. The most difficult part was using the view-finder. She found it very small and had trouble seeing through it. We solved the problem by my holding my hand gently over the eye that was not being used so that she could choose the subject of the photo through the viewfinder.
Its kind of funny to have the tables turned and for a child to want to document what I have been doing - but it also makes it all feel worth while. Here is a child who VALUES her work being photographed and her words written down - and this felt like her way of saying what you have done is important to me. But also shows an awareness of what we do - that we observe, take photos, write down their words and then produce documents for the children to look at. Really, I should be more surprised by the fact that not more children have asked to document what they and we are doing....
|this one got named "troll"|
|the use of the zoom|
|part of the snail family|
|the rolling pins!|