Wednesday, 5 March 2014

The importance of rest-time for creativity...

Today I read about 18 things highly creative people do differently... and realised that all 18 of them I could check off... actually did not expect that... so much so I kept reading to see if there was more... surely I could not have checked off them all... I even had to count to make sure!!

Read the Huffington Post here....

What DID get me thinking is the amount of time you need to daydream, to observe, to people watchand for solitude... things that require you to slow down and be comfortable with yourself...

How much time do children get for this??

I am really stubborn about rest time (and napping... but you can read about that under the sections for sleep - what with my husband being a sleep researcher and all that) - but if they are not napping then they NEED to rest. Children need to be given the time to just lie down and be comfortable with their own thoughts... to be given the space to daydream...

A year ago the some of the children started, with their parent unable to get them to rest... these children would not/could not lie down still and quiet for more than a few seconds...
NOW these very same children are comfortable with resting for 30-60 minutes... in a darkened room, with a story CD on low... so those who want to can listen, and for those who want to dream can get on with their thoughts and dream and reflections... As a teacher I also lie down - and can enjoy the same joy of relaxing with the children... BUT it has not been an easy road... relaxing has been a skill the children have needed to learn... and it was certainly not relaxing for me in their process of learning this skill!

I have also shared with them the benefits of resting... they know why... and during the process they did not like learning this skill... it was boring... and there can be days now when its not liked... in much the same way that children don't want to participate in an activity they usually like... BUT once they have got into the routine of resting it becomes easier and easier to allow the body to relax and to allow the mind the time to reflect, dream or sometimes even rest as they fall asleep...

As my husband has given a talk for all the parents at the preschool and we chatted about it with the parents at the parent evening... we have the parents full support to allow each child to sleep for 30 minutes if they do happen to fall asleep... a few of the children may sleep longer...
My husbands research about sleep and health has shown that napping when the body is in need of it is one of the best ways to keep healthy...

I also think that we do not need to fill every space with sound...
I sat with one remaining child on Monday... it was 45 minutes until she would be picked up. We shared an apple... in silence. She sat at the table munching slowly, inspecting the apple pieces, looking closely at her hands and the juice on them... and I just watched. After about ten minutes she looked up at me, smiled and showed me the small small bit of apple on one of her fingers "wash hands". She is two years old.
In that time I am quite sure that she learned a great deal about the apple piece, transference and reflected upon the need to wash her hands...
Taking the time to pause and to listen what is important to her - rather than filling in the time with sound - my words and my thoughts.

Being silent in a totally silent preschool is REALLY silent... it's what made me really reflect on how important it is for children to have the space and the peace to think. To daydream... to observe... to keep those "things" that make us highly creative...

in the little patch of colour sits a child... this child in the middle of a morning of play in the forest walked away from her friends, sat near a bush and just looked up at the sky for 10 minutes - we watched her... and let her be... then she got up and resumed play... Children NEED somewhere to be alon sometimes... they need solitude! How have you designed you indoor/outdoor environment to allow children to have small pockets of solitude and periods of daydreaming?



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