The children don’t always want to play with and explore the theme or materials in the way you have anticipated, and find their own interests to follow:
“ One boy uses the materials and hoards them finding boxes and taping them up to keep them safe, they become ‘his’ things. When asked ‘Why are you doing that?’ He replies ‘I need to I am keeping it safe’. He often uses the materials in a different way, I have discovered, taking them completely away from their ‘proposed’ purpose and finding himself new props for imaginative play. I think it is a way of being involved without being told what to do, using the freedom with the materials as a way to create and explore, testing and pushing the boundaries.” Jane Gordon – Project Artist
In some of the activities there are examples of how the artist or practitioner has responded to this by supporting and extending that child’s interest, and there are observations of the different ways that children have used the same activity.
Observing what the children are doing will provide you with the ideas for how to develop the activity.
Artists and practitioners working together
There are many examples in this book of where sharing ideas and information has helped the sessions to work better, or given opportunities for the work to be extended. Artists learn a lot from practitioners about children’s development and about the needs of individual children in the setting. There are also lots of opportunities for practitioners to pick up ideas and skills from working with artists – Working with Technology being a prime example of this where initial fears about using computers with the children were quickly overcome.