The experiment: Bring pails of recycled materials to the park after school to see if we could make any new friends and provoke some creative art-making.
The reason: The launch of our school-age Atelier this July for summer camp and before- and after-school care (A few spaces remain! Go to www.charlesonkids.com for more info and to sign up)
The results: Dozens of incredibly imaginative short projects and open discussions about art, animals, construction, design, and life.
The mini-studio was a magnet for children passing by. Even in that one short hour we were blown away by the ingenuity and experimental approach of the young artists. There are several techniques, including folding paper tabs to attach separate parts, and poking holes in cardboard to attach pipe cleaners, that were invented by the children due to the limitation of materials. One child said: “Will you be back again tomorrow, because I have another idea!”
Ms. Ali: “When you do art in school, do they tell you what you have to do?”
Child 1: “Yeah, and I don’t like it because then we all have to do the same thing.”
Child 2: “I wish we could just use the materials they have and do whatever we want.”
Thank you to all the artists for allowing us to share your work. Click on the above images to see them closer.
A day in the Preschool
Bottle Cap Collection at Apple Hill Farms Grocery Store
The more that is happening, the less time there is to blog about it!
Map-making, structural sculptures, mixed-media wall-hanging, and much, much painting is continuing. Posts about these coming soon.
For now, here is a picture of our bottle-cap collection jar at Apple Hill Farms Grocery Store on 6th Avenue. It is right above the plastic bottle recycling bins – if you live in the neighbourhood, why not add to our collection?
Plus here’s an article from our Nestlings Newsletter (available at charlesonkids.com) about documentation.
“I remember doing that!”
A group of children huddle around a photograph, excitement lighting their faces.
This is a valuable moment in many ways — not only to build happy memories, but also to boost the learning process.
At Charleson Park Children’s Centre we do our best to display a variety of documentation – photographs and words – on a regular basis, and in a way that is visible to both children and families.
Children respond to photographs of themselves with interest and pride. Documentation helps build strong self-esteem of the group, the individuals, and of each child’s work. It sends the message that we are all valued.
A child’s work is to play — this is how children learn about themselves, the world, and each other. Within playtimes (including art-making, dress-up, outdoor exploration, etc.) there are literally hundreds of moments of learning every day. Teachers encourage questions and thoughtfulness at every step of the way. But without documentation, it’s easy to lose track of all these moments. A simple photograph germinates many possibilities for further learning. Teachers are often amazed by the ideas that come from discussing shared memories with children. New directions are inspired by asking “This is what we learned so far — What next?”
And finally, at the end of the year documentation gives us an invaluable record of the growth of each child. It is one of the best joys of teaching to see the enormous progress that each child makes in a single year.
We encourage parents to come look at our documentation and to ask your child about the events and projects depicted. We hope that all families can feel connected and up-to-date with the learning process.