We had a great time at the Earlyarts Unconference last week. We ran two practical sessions on our Action Research Project ‘Playing with Circles’ where we demonstrated the methods used to engage the children at Stoke Hill Nursery, the aims of the project and the outcomes. One outcome Tamsin mentioned was that one little boy loved enveloping himself in the cardboard circle which led to the nursery staff developing a snug in the nursery which he could enjoy. The project, and close observation techniques used, led to children having their needs met in a way they weren’t before.
Tamsin started the Earlyarts session with a game of cat’s cradle and asked the participants to keep hold of the string since it represented a thread running through the workshop and would also be used again later on. We then had some ‘circle time’ and sat on the floor whilst Tamsin explained the project and answered questions. She showed the group the dance mat which had been used as a way for the kids to express themselves. It was also used as a continuous record of their explorations by printing and rolling circles onto the fabric and then playing with, and exploring, these marks. The participants had a go at making marks on the floor and drawing in flour (as the children had done) and using their pieces of string to do some printing. Here are some photos of the participants getting involved in the activities and below is our short film on the ‘Playing with Circles’ Action Research Project: