Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Creative/making activities


 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

I know that I've (sort of) been here before (much eye-rolling from you all, I expect!) - sorry!

I would just like to know if anyone does creative/craft activities where all the children come and make a 'set' thing?

I was under the understanding that best practice allows for children to be 'creative' and make choices, decide, change etc?

However, there still seems to be a lot of settings (including my sons' school and pre-school, settings that my Nephew goes to, and schools where my friend's children go to) who have displays of 30 very similar looking 'products' or lines of children coming out with the same 'craft' idea. (and these are good/outstanding settings!)

Sometimes I will do small-group activities where I might say 'we are going to paint about the setting of story x' - focus being literacy & C&L not the painting (and even wonder whether this is too directed!). But usually I will leave out extra resources with photos etc (usually in response to child's interest), allow children to explore and then interact and support as necessary to demonstrate skills etc.

I just feel like I'm going mad sometimes, because I seem to be one of the few who harps on about the process not the product and I wonder if other people in my school or visitors are thinking - "what a load of crap up on the wall" "where's all the nice work?".

Would you even plan for everyone to do the same 'type' of product e.g. I'd like everyone to make a snowman, you can decide how?

I am forever trying to keep myself up-to-date with the best practice but then end up doubting myself when I'm doing what is supposed to be 'right'.

Thanks for listening,

Green Hippo x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't dream of doing any 'eye-rolling'.........you are simply reflecting on your practise and I believe we are all meant to be doing that! xD

 

Anyway - back to your question - no - we don't do anything where we are all making the same thing.........however what I might do is present a table with lots of resources - but with one pre-cut shape (i.e. a house, car, person, whatever) and then just see where the children take it - that way the children are able to think creatively.......oh and although there might be an adult nearby to support there will be absolutely no adult direction......does that make any sense?

 

Oh and now I've noticed that this is in Reception and I'm pre-school - oops :blink: :1b

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Sunnyday,

it's ok - I'm in a school Nursery but wanted to get the views of both reception and pre-school practitioners.

Yes, I do similiar - sometimes providing a template and resources. I do know what you mean by no adult direction - we would support, demonstrate, encourage etc but within what the child has chosen to do e.g. if they are trying to stick something with sellotape but then were struggling with the tape dispenser, I'd show them and support them in their use of this, but would not tell them what to stick or where? What I do quite often with drawing/making if the children ask me to draw something for them or help them draw something is to ask them to find a picture in a book or internet first then we talk about the shapes that we can see, the different components etc. I find it gives those less confident children the confidence to have a go. I have a lovely story about a little girl in my class who loves to draw flowers. Last term she decided that this is what she wanted to draw, so we found a book with lots of different flowers in and she chose the one she wanted (also got in lots of language about types of petals e.g. spiky, rounded etc). She was VERY reluctant to draw any of the parts, so I started off demonstrating how to draw a circle for the middle, then the petals around the edge etc with her following my demonstrations. We have continued to support her with this, with her need less and less help until one day she did one all by herself and came to show me with that 'proud' face! Then the other day she asked me again "can you help me draw a flower" so she organised herself with her favourite book, paper, crayons and I sat down next to her and she proceeded to TELL ME how to draw a flower! I couldn't get a word in! And now she is drawing all different types of flowers including stems with leaves on.: ))

Thanks for your reply,

Green Hippo x

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

i'm nursery. next week they are all making a lolly stick puppet but it's cutting skills being observed and supported accordingly as we have noticed some of them are not able to use/and one or two have been caught with it near their mouth...... only 'proper' nursery age children. rising 3's can if want and several do. i feel that this is a skill that needs developing and randomly catching children is not effective. small amout of 1-1 could make a big difference i hope. and safety being discussed. and showing how to use selotape dispenser without scissors!! children can choose from 10 -ish characters (tried to print out all ones i know children like!) and decorate however they like. so they should all be different. in our reception you can see 30 very similar art pictures/collages. such a shame. but parents think they look great and their children are doing brilliantly with creative work. what can you ddo?!! x

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agree with you whole heartedly Greenhippo and we have this as 'normal' practice but have noticed a bit of the 'old' ways creeping in (not intentional!!) when you get

* an interest (that might be quite specific) from a child... that we then follow (and inevitably lots of children hook in rather than being told 'come and do this')

* combined with a skill that we are teaching - say joining techniques

 

we've noticed that at the beginning the children initially want to do similar things/copy each others ideas so get a less varied outcome; but we don't worry as we're not focussed on the outcome but the learning of the skill (and to be fair because of skill level there are clear differences in what they end up with) BUT later down the line once confidence in the new skill has been gained they go off an do their own thing and that's when the individuality really starts to shine

 

so it's really a means to the end and we document, focussing on the journey because that's remains the most important part - and you get a cracking look at COL

 

I think if you understand why you do something, can justify it by showing the impact for the children, the scope for uniqueness and the choice of wanting to/having to etc then no harm done...and as Sunnyday says there's often many ways to teach things and if this variety is in place then even better

 

I think the message is getting through - even to parents

Edited by gingerbreadman
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found some fab pasta shapes this week (small hoops and small tubes) they were on the FMskill table (as we have lots who need practise and they are REALLY into threading!) most of the children chose to create a necklace...but some wanted to make snakes and one or two bracelets. Nearly all the children made one but the emphasis was on the fm skills not the creative side. I have done the 'copy' sort of things for the group but as long as the emphasis is on developing a skill rather than being creative then i reckon this is ok sometimes. What gets me cross is when they are obviously done by teacher instruction and are all the same colour,shape,design,look,paper,texture etc etc etc etc!! no group of children would do that naturally!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fair enough sooty99 :1b

 

Do you present scissors with 'other' activities - play-dough, cooked pasta.......

great idea. have done in past but you forget don't you? we certainly do. that's what we'll offer next week alongside puppets. thanks x

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me it depends on whether the focus is creativity or a specific skill. For example just before Christmas we were doing something on joining techniques so I gave them a snowman body/head template then they cut out arms to join with treasury tags, paperclipped a scarf (own choice of colour/pattern) round its neck, glued on a hat etc. Choice of hats, scarves and a range of cutting skills made for a washing line full of similar but different things. Last week we were doing weaving and given the colours of the paper strips I cut they look similar but there were no restrictions on whether they did or didn't make a pattern etc - in fact it was a good assessment activity to note who did!

 

However if we're doing something like Mother's day cards I might bring in a jug of daffodils as inspiration, get out a whole range of resources and leave them to it.

 

They have free access to our making area and they just go for it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone! Fully reassured me that I'm not quite as mad as I thought I was!

We do similiar to what you all do: providing a fully equipped creative area, enhanced with extra pictures, resources which is available to children through-out the CI time. But we do also provide some templates/printed pictures/suggest ideas etc if the focus is on a something different e.g. cutting skills, joining etc. I don't usually have colouring sheets but will provide these if needed e.g. this week have had spiderman pictures as boys have been enjoying cuttting them out and making them into stick puppets - getting them cutting, joining and practising using a pencil. They are not being asked to colour-in and funnily enough often choose to make little emergent writing marks! But if they do CHOOSE to colour in, it can only be good practise?? They have also used these to make up little stories, so I think have been more help than 'harmful'. (And I also have to admit, I'm a bit unsure of where to start when they ask for help to draw spiderman...er...he's got a face (well...sort off...)... and legs that sort of go up and down...!!)

Received a copy of 'Pre-school Art', the process not the product - full of great ideas, am excited to try them.

Green Hippo x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)