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Making Links and Building Relationships

by James on January 18th, 2012

My second session for 5x5x5=creativity at St Saviours Infants was really interesting. There were three adults facilitating and documenting the group this time, myself, Becky a Reception class teaching assistant, and Gillian. Gillian is also an artist and an art therapist, and is supporting the work this year after her son was part of last year’s project.

We offered the children the same materials as last week, except that the small objects (beads,corks etc) weren’t included but large rolls of paper were. I wanted to give the children an opportunity to explore their mark-making and their pathway/boundary defining together and on a large scale if they wanted to.

In the end, the main interest in the paper was tearing it up, in a very physical, high energy way.

A lot of this week, for me, was about how the children related to each other. They used the string to create web-like structures that wound around each others bodies, or directly tied themselves to each other.

Children that were shy or hesitant to verbalise what they wanted to do last week were more confident this week, and ideas rippled through the group as children played together and copied each other.

One key interest continues to be the tree, not surprisingly as it is the dominant feature in the space, standing as it does at the centre. Again this week the children created a rope swing/ladder, and children that were stronger or more agile were able to help other children with encouragement and advice, taking turns and taking on new roles of responsibility and support.

I’m really interested in how the materials offered can enable/support the formation/strengthening of relationships amongst the children, as well as with their environment. The language says it all really – making links, building relationships.

As different children become more confident within the group, and offer up their own ideas and strengths to this new ‘community’, it will be fascinating to see the impact on the direction of our work together, as well as on each individual’s learning and behaviour.

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