Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Playing fairies....

This morning Vinden delved deeper into the ideas we had around our philosophy session "where do fairies come from" in two small groups.
During yesterday's session the children talked about fairyland, about needing a map to get there, about portals and also about how they might just be in the forest and their invisibility means that we simply don't see them...

The group I worked with (3-5yrs) decided upon the ideas of the map and the portal to explore more through play... BUT which one... this was not an easy decision and I made it clear that I was not going to make this decision for them, but that they had to work together to make the decision. This was not easy... at first the children kept saying "I want..." and I kept needing to remind them that today the focus was on what we were going to do together and that everyone saying "Iwant..." was resulting in six different options every time...

Eventually the map was chosen after quite some discussion, and then I posed another question... how were they going to make a fairy map? A map together or a map each? This took some discussing and they decided upon a map together. So I asked another question (WHAT another question they exclaimed...)... what was their plan for drawing the map... "oh just put the paper in the middle and then we all just draw..."
"OK," I continued "but what are you going to draw on the map so that it works together, so that someone else can read it...?"
And so I asked them to explain what they would put on the map... they all had very different ideas... some wanted airplanes, others the forest, others areas close by to the preschool, they soon realised that one map together might be a bit tricky, they needed to communicate...
I suggested that they all drew a practice map each and that they could then share their ideas and pick out the ones they felt should be on the map...
I the process of getting the paper the idea of making the practice maps fairy sized popped into my head, and I asked if they thought it was a good idea... yes... so each child received a small piece of paper and a pencil... two of the six made the comment that they could not draw so small, so I encouraged them to try... and they realised that they could indeed draw small...

Most of the maps turned out to be a series of squiggles, or lines - each child was given the chance to talk us through the map and I wrote down the instructions... by the time we had finished the fairy maps I could see that it was time for their bodies to move... so we went outside to play... JUST one of the maps had a local point within the map, so I asked if they wanted to go there to see if they could follow the map to fairyland... they thought this was a great idea. So off to the snail park we went...


At the snail park we met the other half of Vinden who had explored the fairyness of yesterday's session by wondering how they could make themselves more like fairies, and the colour of fairies... so the facepaints had come out and they got to decorate themselves, to turn themselves into fairies... they were encouraged to paint each other... but none of them showed an interest in doing this... not all the children wanted facepaints. Of course this transformation captured the imagination of my half and so they too got the opportunity to transform themselves into fairies with the facepaints... two children asked another children to paint a heart on their cheeks...but this was the only help... the interest in paiting themselves (without mirrors) was too great to let someone else hold the brush.


The rest of the morning was spent flapping wings (with stick extensions) around the Snail Park... the other half (they named themselves the Butterfly group flew off to the square) while the Fairy group (the name my group chose) sluttered about playing fairy families...




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