As part of my Playing More focus I took part in the Earlyarts Webinar, Clay, colour and creating through play. Early years artist Ammie Flexen discussed her work and the processes she uses when working with young children and then took part in a Q and A. Great session but here is a quick summary of the main points I took away.
- It is the process not the product that is important. Ammie was questioned about the need for a ‘take home’ thing. She suggested that if a child thinks they are making something to take home their creative process will be very different. They become focussed on producing something they perceive as good enough rather than concentrating on the creative process and recognising everything they make as good.
- The environment is vital and changing the environment makes a huge difference. Ammie was keen that this was recognised as a simple process – moving the chairs and tables, going outside, using a different space. Not a full redesign! Something we can do simply in any setting including the home but which can have a huge effect on the child’s creativity.
- Try things on a bigger scale. If you are doing mark making spread out a huge roll of paper rather than giving everyone a sheet. If you are using clay put out large trays of clay with other items to stimulate play.
- When using colour think about tone. Ammie talked about the way we relate to colour and teach colour in this country, On the whole we teach children to recognise and name colour in its simplest form rather than exploring the different tones and shades of each colour. Instead we could focus on each colour providing paints or items across the shade differences.
Just 4 things I’m going to pull out here, there was much more. But hopefully by pulling out 4 I can incorporate these into the way I play and encourage others to play. And hopefully these will make a difference and encourage More Playing