Monday, 14 October 2013

Fairyland turns into Scaryland

At the start of the day the children were already expressing an interest in getting in touch with the scary side of things - they had asked for the torches as light was a good thing when you were scared of the dark - and then asked if we could make it darker...
So I asked if they would like to take the fairies down and make the corner a little scary instead - there was MUCH enthusiasm for this - and so "Choice" today was between going into the forest to see if the bike there could be dismantled more and brought back to preschool or to stay inside and start on making things scary... the majority today chose to be inside...

What do we need to make it scary
  • we need ugly things
  • we need scary things
  • what is an ugly thing?
  • It's a thing -ugly thing. I am not sure.
  • I think an ugly thing is my doll and my airplane, that is ugly. And my plate is ugly.
  • beans
  • scary witch tops and ugly beans and ugly cars and ugly stuff'someone who stamps noisily and is green and blue and is ugly. And if something is green and mixed with yellow it will then become pink
  • what are scary things?
  • scary things are the doctor. I think scary is when I go into a room and a ghost comes. I dreamt about a ghost at home  and I was really scared.
  • witch, monster, ghost
  • wolf, witch, cars (why) because they can knock me over, blood, bears that have blood, a girl is scary with blood
  • for me scary is witches and bears, blood when they hit you (on the arm) and then blood and meat comes from the skin - THAT is scary
  • witches and blood and then I think ghosts and cars and wizards.
I read out the words again and we noticed that many had commented that ghosts were scary and that maybe painting ghosts would be a good place to start to transform the area from fairyland to scaryland! They all agreed.
Black paper was decided would be the scariest.

And then we squeezed some ghost blood onto each piece of paper and each child got to choose an extra scary colour to add a little extra to the ghost - and using sponges they created ghost shapes - I reminded them to focus on the shape of their ghost - did they want a head or arms and legs - or did they want a tail instead? One child wanted to just fill the page, but this time I put the breaks on and insisted that there would be time for fillling paper with paint later, but that right now we were painting ghosts - this was NOT easy - either for me or for her - I like the children to experience paint, but at the same time I KNEW she wanted to paint a ghost and it was my responsibility to help her with this process, even though her arms wanted to continue moving the paint around. She did stop as I pulled out the googly eyes...

The children washed their sponges and set them aside for drying and then I asked how many eyes they needed. I wanted them to plan - not just enjoy the rhythm of picking up a googly eye and glueing it on, but to actually think beforehand about how many would be needed and where they would be glued. All the children said two except for the last child who said three - the other children reacted - loooking at me like something I was wrong - and I simply said "ooo scary, three eyes" and expected the other children to ask for more eyes (they didn't) - but they all accepted that three eyes was perfectly OK for a ghost!

I have read about how googly eyes are frowned upon by some - but I simply think they are a bit of fun - and I remember how much I loved them as a child - and could see the same delight in these childrens' eyes too. I placed them on the table, challenging their fine motor skills in picking them up and gluing them onto their ghost. But if there was ever a time to have googly eyes it is at halloween - to try and get the balance between scary and humour so that the children can deal with their fears in a safe manner.

In the afternoon during snack the ghosts flew into the room saying "booo" and the children shared with their friends that had been outside in the morning what they had been up to - and also I wanted to see if they remembered which ghost they had made - all could identify their own ghosts and most could identify the other's too.

Later in the week we will be talking about fear with the children in our philosophy sessions - but this time we will be dividing the children into two groups - so that it is slightly more intimate while we are talking about fears... and discussing how we can meet them and overcome them...

ghost blood was transformed into ghosts - the top one with a LONG arm

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