When one of our babies just loves covering themselves in any medium, pens, paint, food, drawing on their legs or rubbing yoghurt on their skin. Loving anything that makes marks on her body & skin, she is constantly covered in felt pen, food or paint!
Instead of stopping this incredible capable learner, it is our role & responsibility to evaluate what she is doing & how we as adults can respond to this! Take notice of what is actually happening, not what WE THINK is happening.
At The Curiosity Approach, both Lyndsey and I feel that it is US as educators that need to adjust & change, to inspire curiosity, awe and wonder. Allow children the opportunity to be creative, think critically and to bring laughter into the lives of our incredible learners.
I am proud to say that my youngest trainee educator / practitioner also spotted this child’s style of learning and instead of halting the process, she extended the opportunities for learning by taking time out & covering the entire room & lower walls with paper.
This child and the many others who joined in later, had time & space to explore paint on a larger scale. The freedom to move, instead of being restricted by the confines of the table or even previous smaller sheets of A3/A4 paper. The freedom to pour paint from various bottles or use the body as a tool to create marks on the paper.
It was an utterly magical experience for children and staff. Sadly, my collection of photos is limited due to data protection reasons. However, the children loved this experience so much we will continue this into the following week.
We will extend if further by adding decorating rollers and authentic brushes and paint trays. Edible paint will be added for our younger babies too.
Yes, it was messy
Yes, the children were all covered in paint
Yes, they all needed bathing, (standing in a bowl & sponging down)
Yes, we went through a mountain of paper, towels and paint
Yes. the practitioners got covered in paint too
Yes, it took a long time to clear away afterwards
Whose problems are these?
Adult? Or child?
As practitioners and educators, we need to get away from the mind set of seeing problems and barriers instead of seeing the amazing opportunities and outcomes for our children.
STOP being lazy and only taking the easy route or option!
Remember why you got into this career, job or life path.
Start remembering the small child within, that curious and adventurous one. The inner child who loved painting their hands and getting mucky & messy.
Please don’t hinder our amazing learners their opportunities for fun and laughter, exploration and a sensory experience. Just because YOU see problems before opportunities.
Be curious, HAVE FUN and make a difference!
This article was written by Stephanie Bennett, One of the Co-founders of The Curiosity Approach, alongside Lyndsey Hellyn. We're more than just another consultancy company, together we want to impact on early years. To make a change to the educational system. To inspire practitioners to bring back curiosity, awe and wonder to childhood and to the lives of educators.
Curious is our monthly publication that focuses on one inspirational ingredient of The Curiosity Approach each month. It opens out into a quality A2 poster, which can be displayed in your provision to excite and inform your team and/or families. We use beautiful imagery from our own settings, to help spark the visual learners amongst us, along with hints and tips on how to bring this aspect to your setting to create exquisite yet practical environments that feed our children's hearts and souls.
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