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Notice Board And Displaying Childrens Work


Guest terrydoo73
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Guest terrydoo73

We are a new playgroup opened in January and have just pre-preschoolers at present so whilst I know we should be child orientated it is limited in a sense - we did pick up on a child's interest in a rainmaker and made pringle jars painted, decorated and filled with dried peas etc which they loved.

 

Now we have decided to change the whole playroom to a new look for the month of March - it is our first turnaround as we started in late January. We have decided to work with the continuation of our settling in process, having taken them through the idea of what hands are for so we did handprints, then moved onto how our hearts help us when we move and what happens when we get involved in exercise (all to coincide with British Heart Month in February!!). Now we are looking at growing and are planning to use photos of the children as babies to now as pre-preschoolers and talking about what we need to grow. We will be using the opportunity to talk about planting seeds and watching them growing using little planters filled with soil - they will be filling and planting these themselves as well as an individual sunflower seed which we hope to give them hope at Easter.

 

My Deputy Leader has a small problem which was raised by our local Early Years worker who supports us - templates!! We have used a noticeboard with a blue background and white surround and put on this our pictures of children making heart shortbread, painting and decorating hearts. Each heart was very individual in that the children chose their own colour to paint and what decoration to put on top once dried. Can we justify it this way?

 

The reason I am asking is because we are planning to do daffodils as a craft activity for St David's Day. We will be using egg cartons and the child will choose to paint them either orange or yellow with a choice of leaf - brown or green. We are concerned that our Early Years Worker will walk in, see daffodils all along the noticeboard and will tell us off!!

 

The children are as I say pre-preschool and are really looking for our lead in a big way - they don't really come in and say "I want to make a daffodil today". The craft area is rarely used unless we direct it and they really love being together and talking through during the time of making. The conversation is vast and so much observation can be done - one child layers paint thickly, another is very exact in getting every area covered in the quickest time possible. A third child is more interested in the finished product etc etc.

 

We use a set format each day - free play at the beginning followed by snack and then outdoor play time. We usually come in again to as I say an adult led activity - rhyme time, baking, craft or just choosing an area that we have noticed little play in eg jigsaws. We noticed just this past week the children wanting to play together - outside play involved them all getting together in a circle to sing the rhyme "ring a ring a rosie" without asking us to join them.

 

The children love having something to take home with them so much that we sometimes have few copies of their own work only photographs!! Should we try and keep all the art work in the playgroup until the end of the month or just select some individual ones out for display?

 

Sorry so long a post but just trying to get my head around all these problems.

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I really don't want to come across as being negative but I do have a bit of an aversion to templates (sorry)

 

I remember going to a setting where the preschool children had made cats faces using paper plates. They were lovingly displayed and every one had two eyes, a nose and a mouth all the same and all in the right place. They each had six whiskers all strategically placed. Some may think it was a lovely display but to me it showed no individuality whatsoever. Children so young could not have made such 'perfect' cats so I suppose it was a case of being told put this here and stick this there and corrected if not quite 'right' and I find that sad.

 

Thinking about your daffodils on display if the only difference is some are orange instead of yellow and some have brown instead of green leaves I would ask is it really reflective of children's individual work? Personally if you want daffodils I would talk to the children about them , have lots of different daffodil pictures available and then provide a range of different resources rather than just egg boxes and paint. Some might like to paint, some might like to collage and some might like to do a combination of both. You would still have your display of daffodils on the board but I bet there would be huge variations not only in materials used but also in the 'flowers' themselves. Some might look like daffodils and others may bear little resemblance but it wil reflect the child's interpretation of a daffodil :o

 

I agree with you that little ones won't come in and say 'I want to make a daffodil today' but I love giving children an idea, providing a range of resources and seeing where they take it. I call it adult initiated but child led.

 

Sorry I don't know that I have been any help and I don't want to appear critical of what you do, your posts are so full of passion and enthusiasm for the children in your setting.

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I'd echo everything Gezabel says about templates and the whole idea of producing something with adult values.

 

Regarding the display issue, what happens if you ask children if they would like their artwork displayed on the wall? Often if our children know we're making a new display they're happy to let us keep their picture or whatever it is, but if they say they'd prefer to take it home then have it displayed, then that's fine with us. Photographing the finished article whether for display or their special book is a good compromise, and let's face it if the child doesn't want it to be displayed then it is really up to them, isn't it?

 

A compromise might be asking them to make another one for the display so they can take one home and still be included in the display.

 

I'd also echo what Gezabel said about your posts being full of passion for what you do - its lovely to see!

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At this time of year, you dont need pictures of daffodils, you can use the real thing!

 

I dont have a problem with what you are calling a template if you have taught the children a skill by using it, then there is usually some individuality to the finished product if it is being displayed. You might also use such a template to practise or refine a skill, where the skill rather than the product is the focus and outcome.

 

 

Your nursery sounds lovely though so dont let a few things detract you from the enjoyment you and the children are obviously getting at the moment. You can refine and evaluate your provision with time.

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Hi as for displaying children's art creations, someone fantastic on here suggested a picture art gallery. The idea being each child has an area, we have squares that are numbered on a large display board, each child can put them up and change their art when ever thay wish too with adult support.

Obviously some are changed more than others but that's what makes it unique to them.

Once their art is taken down they can either display them in their learning journals or take them home.

Their parent/carers are also given this number when their child joins and are able to view them at any time whilst pre-school is open.

We all love it especially the children as they go onto the stage to change them, we generally only go up there when we are doing a concert/show. [They think that's a real treat bless them].

Sounds like your children are having a fantastic time keep doing what your doing, tweaking it as you go. :o

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Your nursery sounds lovely though so dont let a few things detract you from the enjoyment you and the children are obviously getting at the moment. You can refine and evaluate your provision with time.

I agree. Try not to get too hung up on doing things 'right' - so long as things make sense to you and you have sound reasons for doing it that way, then as time goes by you will become more confident in being able to justify them!

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i agree i dont do anything pre cut and stuck, children no matter what age have very imaginative minds, you could have extended this a little by letting them cut out their own heart shapes, understand they are young but this could have been done with adult help if the shape gets cut in half so what.

 

if you ask parents what there chilldren are into and use long obs you will discover where their interests lie and you can create themes based on your knowledge , ask the children what they would like to do.

 

I know its new but it will grow

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Agree with all comments already given. Just like to add that a good evaluation of how much to adult direct or not when making things is to consider how long the activity would take for an adult let alone a child. ie: to place petals, leafs, stalks onto a cut out egg carton for an adult a good five minutes, thus for a young child too long to expect focus for when being directed. Also consider how much 'prep' time it takes for adults to prepare such activities, time which could be spent observing children exploring a choice of resources.

Focus is more likely to be extended when a child is following his/her own agenda.

 

I remember being wowed by the drawings my preschoolers did of daffodils using led pencils and crayons, all we supplied was the vase of daffodils to look at, touch and smell. xD

 

I would also suggest that creativity for this age is often prefered to be accessed at floor level rather than confined to table and chairs, or if tables, take away the chairs so that the children can stand (fidget) to look under, over and above their creative expression as it evolves.

 

As your theme is growing why just confine your focus on Daffodils? there are so many more varieties of flowers and new growth to explore. Give them 'real life' experience of many different plants etc, ( walks out, visit to garden centre, photo's, ask parents to bring in plants, herbs, etc, then provide the children with a range of resources. Provide real twigs, some crepe paper, tissue paper, felt, silk, real petals etc the children could create and represent flowers and growth in a multitude of ways of their choosing. You could even ask them all to vote and choose which 'flower' they could name after the preschool and display in the centre of your board as the new variety called...................... :o

 

ooh, just remembered, once when we made flowers at preschool I had some perfume which the children sprayed onto their creations, this was very popular. (obviously check for allergies and supervise the spraying away from eyes, wash hands after etc).

 

Have fun.

 

Peggy

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We had the same issue last year, one of the practitioners decided to use egg cartons and pre cut leaves etc.. and i walked in and said you cant put that up, the EY advisor will comment on that, two weeks later she did just that. slap on the wrist for the practitioner.

I took the children outside and we looked around at all the daffodils, some coming out and some in full bloom.. we picked a couple, and took them inside, and we discussed the colours etc.. and i put out the colours we had talked about, and the children used their arms and hands to print daffodil pictures.

Every one looked different because of the different use of colour and how they used their hand and arm to make the print. the children really enjoyed it!

 

Have fun, Ali :o

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Guest terrydoo73

Thank you sooo much. It is so difficult how to approach craft work when have been so used to templates but now I have a fuller explanation of how to actually do it I feel more confident in working with this.

 

We actually do have real flowers in a vase and I think this is how I will start the conversation off - look at the flowers, what colours are they, what shape is it - would you like to draw your own daffodil? How do you think you could do this. I am also going to get a few picture books out with daffodils in them.

 

Our arts and crafts area is rarely used - we have about 12 boxes of everything from cotton wool, tin foil, egg cartons, empty cereal boxes, ribbon, felt, sprinkles, glue, crayons and paper. We assumed incorrectly that they would just use it and when they didn't thought we were doing right by showing them how to do it!!

 

Today we had the children outside and noticed they were very interested in the filling and emptying of the compost in the sand tray so gave them a little planter and asked what could we put in this now when they were finished filling it up. They came back with seeds, flowers, plants so we used the opportunity to help them plant their own seeds and plants - nasturtium sweet pea and violas. We put their own symbol on each pot as they were very protective of their own individual creations! Hopefully now the sow direct seeds do work!!

 

I have a photo album in our book corner of different plants such as primula, pansy, viola, daffodils, tulips etc so will also use these to help them think about their creations - I guess the same could be said for the shamrock we will focus in on for next week St Patrick's day! That one should be interesting!!

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Guest terrydoo73

Well tried this today and not sure whether can say it was a success.

 

We came in from outdoor play time and moved to the junk art table. I maybe started off wrong but was following on from our theme of growth for the month of March. I did have pictures on the table, plants on the windowsills and tables and then asked if we would all like to make a flower painting. The children just looked at me with blank faces. I tried to ask them what they would like to use and 1 child moved immediately and got a glue stick so then everyone followed. I asked what else we needed and again blank stares. I then asked every child to come and stand in front of the junk art and choose what resources they wanted to use. It took some time before a child lifted the pot with lentils in them and subsequently threw them all over the floor. One of the workers proceeded to brush the lentils up and in the midst of it all a child started crying because she thought as the worker was brushing the floor she would no longer have her seat to sit on. Got her calmed down and showed her that a seat was still there. Anyway every child had a pot of something on the table as well as the real branches. We did get them to stick something on the page eventually although nothing like flowers - it was more the sticking and pasting they were really doing.

 

Throughout it all I had no backup from my Deputy. She told me in no uncertain terms at the end of it all that this was not the way to do art times, these are 3 year olds she said and they need precut predetermined ideas where we show them how it is done and then help them do it. I got into such a fluster over this as I felt I was not being supported at all then she pulled me up for touching a child on the arms to gain their attention - she does not think you should even touch a child or say no to them but constantly say the childs name and ask them if they are listening to you.

 

Personally I am OK but mentally feel such a complete failure. I feel that up to now the children haven't all used the resources because we have been showing them and this way today broke that barrier down so that they can hopefully go and use them during free time. I think it will need a few times before they fully understand that they can be used as they like.

 

As to how to handle my Deputy I don't know - I feel she wants to do it her way or not at all, that if a parent had walked in while I was touching the child she would not have supported me in any way as it was totally wrong and to be honest humiliated. I am away now to have a good cry to myself!

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You're a new setting and that means a new team, it can take a while for everyone to gel, and some never do, but we learn to ork with each others strengths and weaknesses.

I think your activity was good. you talked to the children, asking for their ideas. One definition of creativity is 'making something thats never existed before', so pre-cut templates arent very creative in my opinion.

If your children are struggling to know how to use the resources available why not have a session where each item is explored to see what it does? Get the paint out and look at how the brushes mae marks that are different to the marks made by scrunched up foil. Look at the lines made by a pencil compared with the lines made by a piece of chalk. Explore glue against sellotape or blutak or prit. Let them investigate and hopefully they will be more prepared to ahve ago next time. Remember though that not all children like art activities. I've had a number of children over the years who didnt want to get messy so I used to let them wear the vynal gloves to keep ther hands clean, also makes interesting hand print pictures.

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Oh Terrydo, I think it will take some time for children who have not accessed activities "on their own" before to feel they have the authority to do it. In an established pre-school there will be children there older than 3, younger than 3 - the older children are often ambassadors for the type of play you want to see happening. They have assumed the confident air they need to go and help themselves, knowing that whatever they do, even if it is making a mess, they will not be 'told off'. They understand that they can ask for help to clean things up, or help will be offered to them to clean up after themselves. As we know, children like to copy other children and your younger ones would do that if they had 4 year olds who knew the "system". What I am trying to say is, this will all come in time, your children today are the ones to forge your ethos with, as tomorrow they will be "teaching" your next intake, that is if they are still around and not off to school.

 

The way I run my session, is not to have art things as you have done today, as a group activity, rather those items are out in continuous provision, and it only takes one or two children to come across them, or to be made aware of them. They can quietly access those resources and when they are praised for their efforts, or another child in the setting sees something that another child has done they want to do one too. For instance today, one child made a crown, by the end of the morning there were 6 crowns being worn as the children went out of the door - but frankly, nobody had planned for any crowns to be made today, it just happened.

 

Pre-cuts can have their place I think I have said before that I use them occasionally to help push things along and with as much child choice as possible with them and as your children have so little experience by the sound of it perhaps they do need them, but to be gently weened off of them and praised for their own efforts when that begins to happen. I don't agree with your Deputy - however, her own nursery background maybe much more formal and structured than what is currently seen as good practice.

 

You have nothing to hide - although you must protect yourself against accusations of child abuse, if you are gently touching a child - and we must touch children - are they to understand that they are "untouchable", when they are upset, do they not deserve a cuddle to comfort them? In my view, touching children is not wrong - only how you touch them.

 

After a bad day, I can understand exactly how you feel, I bet 99.9% of us have come home and needed to have a cry at some point. I love your posts, and I love that you are being open minded and trying to get your practice right but this will take time and lots of experiences good and not so good. Whilst you do not want to have the talk with your Deputy, I fear you must - perhaps your Chairperson can help you with this.

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Guest terrydoo73

OHH THANK YOU FOR THESE POEMS - they have cheered me up no end!

 

As far as group activity is concerned my Deputy is adamant that all that should be done during this time is rhymes as they respond well at this age to actions and words. We have approximately 3/4 hour to 1 hour outside most days it is dry and then come in for the last half hour. This is just too long a time in my opinion to be sitting doing rhymes as I think their concentration levels are limited. Hence the reason for trying something different every day. So yesterday we planted seeds in our big tubs and we will repeat this tomorrow with a small cup. Today we tried the arts and crafts because it was cold outside so wanted to bring them indoors. We might try another underused resource on Thursday such as playdough both in making and using it to make shapes. On another day we might use baking or cooking as a group activity.

 

I think the Deputy's point of view is have something that they can take home with them and their parents will be delighted at actually seeing something they can recognise! My volunteer helper today was of the same opinion - do one first and let them see what you are asking for but I feel that to do this they would just copy my work and would never truly express their creativity. Another problem raised by my Deputy was the feeling that real sticks could mean little skelps in tiny hands and how would we explain this?

 

I am really just trying to review how we do things - yes it was good when we started and we wanted to see where each child was at developmentally ie holding scissors, what way do they control the glue on the page etc, how much do they actually stick on the page but we need to move on and this feeling of "we can't touch that because we have to be shown how to do it" will mean they leave us never having fully explored or developed creativity.

 

Yes I maybe approached it wrong by saying we are going to make flowers and I probably should have all the resources out in front of them on the table so they help themselves but surely at this age it is all about developing their personal social and emotional needs ie helping themselves and using it by themselves. We are after all doing this in every other area such as sand, home corner etc.

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Hi terrydoo, please don't get despondent. There are going to be times when you may have conflicting ideas with regard to the delivery of the EYFS from other practitioners, and sometimes you do have to beg to differ.

One of the main things i instill in all our staff from the beginning, is that if they have any issues for or against anything, that these are brought up either at the end of a session, at a staff meeting, or even better a casual chat with myself.

I would certainly not undermine any of my staff, and would expect the same courtesy too whilst the setting is in motion.

You say that the Deputy is adamant what does the Supervisor/Manager say.

Perhaps a sharing of ideas for next weeks activities maybe at the end of the week may help to iron out any unnecessary ill-feeling.

Keep your pecker up you sound like you are trying to provide a lovely facility for the children to flourish in. :o

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Guest terrydoo73

I am the Leader and we don't have a Supervisor/Manager - we are in a playgroup setting which is run by a Committee of non-playgroup people

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Hi terrydoo - some really great replies already......

 

Are you the manager? I'm a bit confused - you refer to the deputy as 'my deputy' so I assume you are......

 

Have you visited any other settings? This can be so useful especially when you are 'starting out'

 

Do you have staff meetings? Again, a really useful 'tool' and really the best time to sort out your 'teaching styles'

 

I was interested to hear you talking about 'seats' - my children stand at my creative table......and this forms part of my continuous provision.......and so it should really 'enabling environment'!!!

 

Have to agree 30 minutes is far too long for 'rhyme time'.....

 

Ah....we crossed posts - soooo you are 'the leader'.......is that not the same as 'manager'?

Edited by sunnyday
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Try to get your deputy to take on board it is the process that matters, not the end result. Yes isn't it lovely to take good looking things home - but it's totally false because the children haven't really had much input. Parents shouldnt be interested in what the adults can do, but what their child can do.

 

It doesn't matter how many boxes children take home that are just stuck together or collaged or glittered the process they have gone through is what matters, how they found out that edges don't stick together very well and the boxes keep falling off - that runny glue takes ages to dry - it goes see through when it dries. As practitioners we have to be confident in our practice to explain to anyone who enquires why do you do it this way? To be able to explain that whilst as a parent they might just see another 2 old boxes coming home, its about the significance of what was learnt in its process - they don't need to keep the boxes - but they shouldn't dispose of them in front of the child or belittle their work - they could take a photo of them for a keepsake book of their own and see how their child's understanding of their world changes over a period of time, how they figure things out for themselves.

 

If you consider you have too much time left over you might want to consider your routine altogether, and redistribute time - we are open for 3 hours, 2 hours is given over to child initiated play, the last hour - is taken up with snack time, P.E (in it's various forms, from dancing, ball play, parachute play etc.) and then a group story time. During this last hour is the only time the children are together as a whole group. I am fully aware that other settings have much less adult initiated time. They have a snack bar system rather than a whole group snack time. they have child initiated play right the way through the morning apart from the first 10-15 minutes when the whole group are together at registration time.

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Terrydoo how many children have you got registered now? if you are still a really small group you might need to do some modelling as an adult to show the children how to use things...not a lecture just start playing and exploring yourself....they may start to copy at first ...then they will repeat over a few days and then start to experiment. offering the same resources over a few days may help to let them have a go. I think you need to remind your deputy (gently) whos the boss too! :o

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not a lecture just start playing and exploring yourself

 

Excellent advice! :o

 

Terrydoo - this is not meant to be critical - just a gentle suggestion - it does all sound a bit too 'organised' to me......

 

As I said in my last 'offering' 'creative', 'craft', 'art' or whatever you choose to call it should really be on offer throughout the session as part of your enabling environment......

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What happens outside for that time? Are the children accessing lots of different resources or the usual bikes, balls etc?

Maybe the children need more time in which to discover the room, to explore all the resources and watch other children. I certainly wouldnt make it mandatory that this is when we do art, this is when we have rhymes etc.

I know you want to do a focused adult led activity and thats ok so long as it has a purpose, that you know what you're looking for. If your deputy thinks the children should take something home, try filling in a short note saying 'I did painting today and I got cleverer at making acircle/mixing colours/making a hand. That way the children get to explore and the parents get to see what learning is taking place. If its too much to do for every child put a note on the notice board or window for them to see. Theres another couple of poems here you might like too. Post number two

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I took ages to write that, I'm cooking my tea at the same time. Who said this site was addictive? xD

 

Another thought Terrydoo...I remember a child a few years back who would sit at the table and wait to be given permission or a prompt to start doing anything and then a couple of years later another child did just the same thing. They had both been to a nursery not far from us. A long time later I worked there on supply and saw exactly why these two children were like they were.

Painting was done 1:1 with the adult suggesting (telling) where the paint went, which colours to use and how long could be spent there. They were told to sit up not lollop all over the place when they were playing with the trains and the dressing up could only be worn by the mirror. I knew the manager had completley lost the plot when she put tassles on the handles of the bikes with pedals. This was to warn those who couldnt pedal that they werent allowed on them. Made me smile all day long :o

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Hi,

 

I don't know if this will help but it is something we often give out to parents as they can be keen to see something 'produced'. I have adapted it many times but it was originally given to me by my daughter's primary school teacher.

 

We are very much a 'supply everything we can for craft activities' so have a craft trolley, glue of different types, tape, double sided tape, scissors etc always available. We very seldom have pieces ready cut but when we made a seasons tree (large 4 foot tree showing the four seasons done in paint and collage) we quickly had to cut a large number of small trees so the children could make their own.

 

Learning_through_play.doc

 

 

Rachel

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Guest terrydoo73

This is excellent Rachel - thank you so much - it is something I might include in my newsletter! We purposely took apart all our notice boards last week during the change over at month end. One board has now got a picture of all the children who attend playgroup (this is in the actual room they use every day so not on public display as such!). Below this I have a picture display of our routines - for instance one showing mummy carrying a baby in her seat and a child by the other hand, then the next picture is of lots of children playing different things like cars, painting etc - it goes through the whole session and covers the remainder of the board and includes things like what we eat at snack time etc. A second board is completely full of the children's art work - some paintings, some glue and stick etc and this is directly above the arts and craft/painting area. We asked the children before we put them up if we could and they were very enthusiastic about it all. The final board which is our biggest is covered in green paper and a yellow board (our 2 colours for March). It has our number train at the bottom and at the top the word March and Growth as this is our theme with a few words associated with growth. There is an A4 page showing a picture of a seed followed by roots and shoots and then flowers. We did a discussion with the children last week based on looking at their baby pictures which each one stuck on a page followed by the words now I am big and we took a picture of them at playgroup. They love looking at these every day! We also have put up our Pancake Tuesday paper plates which contain little bits and pieces such as lentils, dried peas, glitter etc. These will go to the parents next week when we replace them with something to do with St Patrick's Day.

 

To be honest we are really happy with what is on our notice board now thanks to suggestions on here. Yes parents have been a bit disappointed not to be taking home a painting every day but we encourage the children to "show" their mums and dads their pictures and art on the board and it has worked well!!

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and this one

What did you do at nursery today, darling?

“Well I sat at the dough table and I rolled the dough in my hands. Lucy said hers was a snake but mine, mine was a worm.

The lady talked about long ones and short ones, the fat ones and the thin ones, and mummy Sarah rolled her dough so long it went right over the end of the table.”

(And nobody said, 'What are you going to make? – a cake would be nice')

 

Yes but what did you do?

“I played on the climbing frame, and do you know mummy, I can climb to the very top step”

Yes but did you do anything today?

Yes, but did you do anything today?

Sara and me went to the paint table. It was lovely, all gooey and slippery on our hands. We made lots of patterns with our fingers and elbows. Sarah had yellow paint and I had red and Mummy, do you know what, if you mix red paints and yellow paint it goes ORANGE! (And nobody said, 'What a mess you've made')

 

Yes, but what else have you done?

At milk time a big boy pushed me over and I bumped my head. The lady picked me up and loved me better and the boy even said sorry!

 

Yes but what else have you done?

“At milk time it was it was my turn to pour out the milk and give the apples out.”

 

And then did you do anything?

The lady sang a new song and I can remember it, it was about your fingers, thumbs and toes.

 

But, did you do anything today?

I made a lovely traily pattern in the sand and then Sara and me had a race to see who could put the sand in the sand-wheel quickest

 

But then did you do anything?

“At story time I was so tired so I sat on the lady’s lap and the story was about a caterpillar-and do you know mummy, that caterpillars turn into beautiful butterflies!

 

So did you do anything today?

“We sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to Nicholas and counted the candles on his cake.”

 

But did you do anything today?

Yes, when the lady said it was time to tidy up I quickly painted you a picture cos I knew you would say,

 

“What did you do at nursery today?”

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  • 3 weeks later...
I have a woderful poem, which really brings home the meassage of child led, just in case i cannot attatch it it is called

'The little boy and the red flower' by Helen Buckley

 

 

Dear Suer,

 

I agree with you children must be given the opportunity to develop their own creativity, I cried when I first read this peom..............

 

Let children eplore be children let them develop at their own pace do not rush them into adulthood where everything is done for you, template for this and that.

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