Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Play-doh and feathers

To give a little Easter twist, the chicken yellow playdoh got a few accessories - goggly eyes and feathers...
chicks were made, påskkärringar (Easter witches) were made - and cakes and experiments were also made... there was a lot of scissor using today amongst the children using the play-doh...

But enough words... let the pictures do the talking (since today the photo for Through the Eyes of the Child project was selected by the children in Vinden today - but all of that will be saved for the project itself...)

the whisk certainly added a great pattern... and was a nice bouncy feel when using...

an easter witch/påskkärring

a whole series of expressions on these creations!!

Monday, 14 April 2014

Together on the Square project continues

Today we talked about the square again... but this time talking about what sort of questions would be good to ask their parents to find out what they think... and so the children have "homework" to ask their parents... and the parents get to write their thoughts down which will be collected on Thursday and then over Easter I can make a collage of their ideas for the children to see and compare with their own ideas for the square. I am not going to reveal what the children guessed the parents would write... because parents do read this... and I don't want to be unduly influencing their choices!!

We also have confirmation that the landscape architect WILL be coming - next week to meet the children. So there is great excitement about that.

My son has spent the day with me at work - and is now off to the forest... so I am siging off for today to spend some girlie time with my daughters to watch a film together that would only elicit groans from Michael!!

Below are the two square ideas so far... the lower one being the latest and most appreciated version so far...

Sunday, 13 April 2014

The coming week...

This week will be filled with looking at photographs...

The children will get to see the photographs they took last week, and consider whether or not they meet the criteria of what they felt is important... Play, Love, Painting and Traffic Safety (there was not much photo taking of traffic safety, so although they discussed its importance they have not thought about taking photographs of it... in fact the children have mostly focussed on LOVE and PLAY...)

I am also looking forward to a phone call to arrange for the landscape artist to come and visit us and show the maps/plans of the area and for us to share our ideas for the square and the avenue up to the forest/play area/hospital at the far end of the complex of housing that makes up Dalen. This was a part of the project that we thought we could not make happen... and here it just fell into our laps, sometimes we have luck on our side.

AND of course there will be a bit of Easter weaving its way into our week... with egg decorating on Wednesday.

Tomorrow my son will be spending the day with us (as there is a week long school break) and then he will be off to the forest to spend a few days with his grandparents. My daughters will spend the day with me at preschool on Tuesday - and then they too will spend a few days in the forest too - returning for the Easter weekend to spend as a family... at least they will have a few days without early mornings!!

My children are well liked by the the Vinden children... they ask frequently when they will next visit... and I LOVE the names they call my children - not Sophia, Isabelle and Michael - but Sophia Lisa-bell and My-god!!

This could be a perfect way to continue the Together paintings with an Easter twist... I wonder if they remember doing this last year?

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Testing things out

As I will be in Canada at the end of April/first days of May I figured out that keeping up with blogposts about what I am up tp is going to require a shift in technology for me...

The i-pad at home is technically mine, but it is the children who use it the most. So right now I am testing it out as a possible option for blogging instead of taking my computer with me... Which is NOT a laptop ... So taking it with me is actually not an option.

I have to admit that blogging has been the best thing for me to force me into getting familiar with more technological tools...

Now to see if I can find a photo from this contraption to share
Well yes i managed that.... Even though it was soooo slow I thought it wasn't working... This is a photo I think Michael has added a few extras to!

 Well, now that I know I can blog on my i-pad it is going to add a new dimension to my Canada trip. Blogging on location!


Friday, 11 April 2014

a non-post!

Being part of this blogg100 is both a challenge and a bit of  tie...

I like the idea of the challenge... of writing 100 posts in as many days... but it really does not offer the flexibility of life!!

Today I fancy a night off...

So all you are getting today is a photo!!

Some lovely mud!!

This year I won't be around for International Mud Day... but will be in Boulder, Colorado then with my family!! BUT maybe I will be able to celebrate there somehow??

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Square inspiration...

Of course when I say Square inspiration I am not talking about the shape, but the public square outsdie the preschool. Project "Together on the Square"

There is a work of art on the wall of the supermarket that has inspired us to create our own work of art... using our wishes for what we want on the square and also love/friendship (things that are important)

We used the overhead to create the shadow... and used the shadow to draw around rather than drawing around the children... so that more detail could be seen. I drew round the children... as standing still was VERY hard and they needed support to try and keep still long enough for me to get the general shape of what they wanted to create. We had a good giggle about just how difficult it is to stand still... even the one who thought she could stand really still!!

Flowers were a must for three of the children and circus tricks was a must for the fourth. We talked about the direction of their body... and what they wanted to say with their shadow - like facing a friend to talk to them (are they going to give the flowers to each other, or to someone else... these are further questions we can ask).

The children were challenged to keep within the lines, to create a solid black shape. I knew that this was something easily within their abilities if they focussed... we got one circle outside a body, due to a lack of focus and the desire to join in the fun... so a quick action without thinking resulted not with a hole in the middle of the body but to the side. We talked about the need to focus - and the children agreed that we could focus and have fun at the same time... we just had to think a little more!!

I say "we" but it was the children doing all the painting... I got to take a step back and just listen... offering a bit of scaffolding every once in a while once the children were obviously in full control of what they were doing... the most suport they needed was with their choice of paintbrush - that they could change brush to meet the needs of the painting (details or filling in big spaces).

Those that finished quickly were able to offer help to others that needed more help to get finished (with a gentle reminder that they needed to look at the tecnhinque their friend was using and to try and keep to that technique... two used feathery strokes, while the other two used slow and solid strokes)

I found it really interesting at lunch when one of the children that had been in the blue room doing a totally different project with Ellen (building castle with big soft blocks, stools etc usuing a photo of the castle which Ellen had made and taken the day before... could they recreate the castle using only the photograph? - they have done this with their own castle, of course then they had the knowledge of how they built the first castle themselves and not just the photograph... it is always so interesting to see how we can further challenge the children in something they enjoy doing) - anyway back to the story... one child that had been in the other group saw the art that we had made and saw herself... "that is me" she said. And when I looked again, I could see what she meant... this has made me think, can I take photographs of the children's shadows and then show them... would they be able to recognise themselves by their own shadow image?

The art is not going up yet... it will be a part of the exhibition for "Förskolans Dag" (National Preschool Day) - and we are not quite finished yet!! (But I am not going to reveal more...)

I can reveal though that today I have been in touch with a landscape architect concerning the devlopment of the square and the allé (avenue) between the square and the forest... hoefully they can come over and show us plans/maps of the area... and they are interested in hearing our ideas...

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Pyjama Party our style...

It all started with the children talking all the time about who could come to their party and who was not allowed... a form of social power..

A pyjama party was thought up to give the children something to focus on about being TOGETHER - a party for everyone!!

Today all the children were in pyjamas. I was in pyjamas... as were three and a half other of my colleagues (one came in a pyjama top) and 2 didn't dare/want to.

Playing outside in pyjamas is fun too... even though we were all wrapped up in our layers and layers, and it tried to snow... and about half of the children did not have adequate gloves/mittens and we were forced to return a bit earlier than we usually would to defrost at preschool. We used the time to build and create in the construction area!!

There was a laid back fun atmosphere all day. I mean we were all in pyjamas!!
After snack, when everyone was awake it was disco time... party dancing with balloons! We had decided on an intensive half an hour for all the children that wanted to... and then the disco was over the lights came back on and the children could choose a whole load of activities in various rooms...

Half an hour of intense fun is enough... and just as the lights went on, the first tears started. The familiar over-excited tears that come with extended laughter and fun exploration of this intensity. The tears ended as soon as they began, and the children found themselves new things to play and explore in smaller groups...

The overhead that was the disco lighting, was made available to explore and build with, there was drawing and cutting in the atelier, painting in the mini-atelier, stories in the library, small-world play in the orange room, and puzzles at the tables...

Vinden - and no I haven't missed a child... we have one that says hello to family and friends far far away!!

snaps shots from the disco... Marianne came as a clown for a while... to help the children that had been afraid of Manne the Clown when he visited last week... we hope to support children meet all their fears...
dance and balloons in the liight of the overhead and magnetic tiles...
exploring the OH after the disco!