Monday, 6 June 2016

Junk art...

There is an area close to the preschool that is actually not a playspace, but just a public space between building... the children have nicknamed it "hide and seek park" - as it has proved to be a great spot for just that game...

It also seems to be a place for dumping junk... and over the years we have found all sorts of things that have inspired the children's play.

Several times I have attempted to get them interested in creating art with the junk, but collecting and creating something myself... the children, or some of them, have joined in for a short while... but the interest has not really enticed them to incorporate it in their play... until last week...

The group played in two smaller groups... after their usual tag game together that has started every outdoor play session in tha last 3 years... (this game has evolved in sophistication, has been role-play and is now just tag again).

Three of them were deep in their play... that does not look like play but simply three children chatting with each other and moving sporadically around the area... but if you listen and observe closely it is an elaborate role-play where their imaginations are deeply interacting with each other.

The other five children disappeared into the bushes and there were giggles and chatting and then after a long time we were called over to look closely (I like to keep a distance during outdoor play... to give the children the feeling of free play, without adult intervention, at the same time as keeping them safe).

The children had created a robot family with the junk they had found...


I loved the creativity and totally marvelled at the amount of junk they had been able to find... this was a little more than usual, tubes, deflated basket ball, metal plates, pieces of wooden flooring etc

The children talked about their creations and invented a background story for them... the largest robot was the mummy robot, with a deflated basketball head, wooden mouth, with "sharp teeth" placed on them.

it interests me to see how children can be inspired by what we do with them, but wait for the moment that is right for them to incorporate it in their play. It is a year ago when I first tried to get them to create art with junk in this playspace... and they marvelled but spent a few minutes interacting with that art... the next time, last autumn, about ten minutes they created their own art... this time they spent 45 minutes collaborating with each other to create a family of robots... the time was evidently right...
interestingly it was robots... I know that we have covered a lot of robot stuff during our Leonardo Da Vinci project, but also the first two times i did junk art, outside with them like this, I created robots... as the junk had been computer parts and game parts then and lent itself to robots...
So I wonder where their inspiration came from... the parts, the project or their previous experience with junk art? Or maybe the combination of all these things lead them to this very play?

Loose parts don't have to be glamourous, they certainly do not have to be expensive... they do not have to be found in nature either... they can be scraps... but the children can find beauty in what others dump as rubbish... and this is a perspective that can be good to have... to see potential in stuff that others have given up on!




No comments:

Post a Comment