"Can I have the yellow pot now? I need more water in my tomato and marshmallow soup"
Muddy play is such an open ended opportunity for learning. It enables children to explore the elements and introduces them to nature. It strengthens their immune system while also developing their social skills.
"Yes. Can I have some of your leaves? My dragon is very hungry."
It is in moments like this that children share their ideas and passions in the honest way that adults often struggle with. There is no hesitation in their plans. No fear of judgement. Children accept that anything is possible and are open to letting an idea that a friend is exploring enter their imagination.
"You can have all my leaves!! Can I pet your dragon? Is he green?"
Just imagine what we could achieve in this world if every idea or passion for change was welcomed without judgement or expectation. Ideas can change the world.
Storytelling can offer many positive opportunities for learning and developing. It is an art and an action and there are ways to make it interactive so that the children can take the lead.
Here are 3 main benefits to storytelling that enrich a learning experience for a young child.
1. Literacy - yes the good old literacy. Reading and telling stories lays the groundwork for a child's literacy skills later on in life. It introduces new words and concepts, phonics and ideas. It helps the brain to understand how information is communicated through text long before the child starts to learn letters and read. Reading with and for children also supports their positive outlook and excitement for learning how to read which will get them half way there.
2. Emotional development - stories help the brain to organize thoughts and make sense of different scenarios and human interactions. They help children to imagine how it might feel to be someone else and understand that life is full of problems that you can overcome This can have an important effect on developing empathy and perseverance which are important factors for their future mental health.
3. Curiosity and Passion - telling and creating stories with children is one kind of magic. Nothing is impossible and you only limitation is your imagination. This makes for a perfect tool to explore their curiosity and develop their passion. You can do that with questions or by letting them lead the story. And when they run with something you feel they are invested in you should join them and feed the story with real facts and information on the topic so that your session is not just fun (and it will be!) but fills them up with the longing to know more and understand more. And they will.
Have you seen our amazing Storytelling Chair?!
Check it out here
Play Iceland 2015 is almost fully booked!! We are honoured and excited by all the interest and can’t wait to meet all the amazing people that have signed up. The group is very versatile and packed with real experience and sincere passion for good early years practice. Just how we like it. We have registrations from America, England and Switzerland as well as some other countries that have not confirmed yet.
We decided to let the event grow a bit this year by offering more places as well as making it a day longer. We had some conversations and feedback from friends from last year and a full workshop day seemed needed to process all the new information, mix up the groups and reflect on how we are all different in our approach while still being awesome. Especially the awesome part as there is never a dull moment when early years practitioners come together!
It is a trip where your perspective will be broadened by how Icelandic children are expected to to be capable and how little impact health&safety has on play here. But you will also find most of the inspiration in connecting with the other travellers - participating in rich conversations and building new friendships that you can continue to grow after the event.
This year we will be joined by team Elska - a small group of people that produce theatre for children in New York in an almost philosophical way. They will say that they are entertainers, but they put a lot of thought and research into what they do to create something of real value. It is not just one more dull thing created by marketers to sell stuff, but a real work of art. They will join our workshop and ask some really interesting and thought provoking questions on how entertainment is influencing childhood.
It will be an amazing event. We really can’t wait!
If you are just hearing about this now and want to join us then you will need to move fast and register here.