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Hi everyone.


I am really hoping someone can help :D


A while ago i remember Peggy (i think!) posting a topic with photographs about a child who painted a picture then painted over the top in black as it was nightime.


Also i remember somewhere the topic of 'fluffy duck syndrome' being discussed.


Do any of you know where i can find these?


I have looked for over an hour, honestly :o


I would appreciate anyones help with this as it is much needed for an employee of mine!!


Thanks in anticipation :D:D

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HI I think it might have been me. Is this the one you mean?




Apr 1 2004, 18:48 Post #17


Group: Full FSF Member

Posts: 572

Joined: 16-January 04

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I just wonder what you would all think if you walked into our pre-school and saw the art work on display. One picture is a large sheet of paper that is painted totally black. MMmm, what does that tell us I wonder but there is an explanation on show alongside the picture. The story behind it is this:


We had been doing a mini topic on light/dark and covered lots of things including night and day. For one creative activity the children were asked to make either a picture of something in the daytime or night time. We provided a host of resources in terms of colours of paper and many mediums to choose from.


One little chap selected a yellow piece of paper and announced his was a "day picture" and it was going to be his cat in tree in the garden. He started using a wax crayon for his sky and coloured across the paper. Then he chose paint for his tree, the result was superb - it was a "big and round tree" with trunk and branches and the most delightful black cat plonked in the middle. It is one of the nicest pieces of artwork I have seen in a long time. Then suddenly he changed his mind and wanted his picture to be at night so he picked up the black paint and covered the whole page with it. When the pictures go on display we ask the children what they would like to say about them and on the wall was one soggy black piece of paper with the quote "MY cat up a tree in my garden but you can't see it because it's night time"


I used this as an observation in my course work and have the most delightful photographs of the child in action - it was fascinating!

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We use a story similar to this on training...


A three year old boy chose to do a painting activity at the easel, and as this was quite unusual for him, a staff member decided to observe the activity and talk to him as he was painting.

The member of staff used open questions - 'that's a lovely picture, can you tell me about it?' and the little boy was more than happy to describe the circus scene he was painting. (It laster transpired that he had been to visit the circus at the weekend with his parents)

The painting progressed and then, it what appeared to be a fit of rage, he painted over the whole picture!

The staff member was at first, disappointed that such a lovely picture had been 'destroyed' so she asked why he had done this.

His reply?

The lights had gone out!


Moral of the story - you can't argue with a three year old's logic! :)


Fortunately, the staff member had been there, had taken an interest in what he was doing and was able to feed this back to his parents, rather than having a mucky brown 'picture' to take home.


I use this all the time to promote the value of staff interaction (not always asking questions) and the purpose of observing and really knowing the children.


Oh - fluffly duck syndrome is spot on - will use that this afternoon on my visit - thanks! :o

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Wow thanks, just what i was looking for.


What great examples to use in staff training.


Sorry not to give you the credit for that one Geraldine, are the photographs posted on the site somewhere? I seem to remember seeing them somewhere :o

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This reminded me of a reception child I had many years ago who spent ages carefully painting, when I asked her to tell me something about her painting, she said it was a black thought. What an idea! It looked like a smudge, but I knew how much had gone into her work.We entered it into a local school art exhibition with a comment about process being more important than the result.

I expect a lot of us have a story where a child has amazed us and taught us to value their own ideas.



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