This was supposed to be an art session about painting a picture of your own house, as a part of a Stockholm project (we had been visiting each child's front door and taking a photo of their home). The children, though, were far from inspired - 16 wrinkled noses looked back at me - OK, what about a dream house painting - 13 happy faces looked back - three of them decided painting their own house was in fact a good idea.
The first three pictures represent the first three children who worked on their dream house. You can see how the above painting was inspired by the below painting - adding a flower annex to the house as well as sun and rain.
I like being able to offer the children art sessions in very small groups (2-3 children) - as it gives me the chance to support all the children, to see all the children and hear all the children - and to encourage the children to take the time to see and listen to each other too. If the children never have access to these small sessions then it is harder to support them in the larger groups. The small group work is an investment to enable large group work to be effective, fun, and inspiring for everyone.
It also allows the art to be so much more than a creative session - it becomes language support, maths, social skills, fine motor skills, science, technology, learning about the world ... in fact the whole curriculum is allowed the time to permeate the session. And once it has permeated with an entire group of children then it is easier to include more and more elements of the curriculum in all the art and creative sessions regardless of the size of the group.