This term in the studio has been great, my mornings with Minasan have involved encouraging one of our avid artists in his creation of comics, inspired by Japanese comics, helping a couple of our kids type up stories on our computers, (basically I’m their human spell checker), the creation of ‘fashion’ from scrap materials and the creation of endless cardboard box costumes, animals, forts, boats, army bases, all kinds of things, as well as some water colour painting and the usual amount, (i.e. lots), of drawing.

Our babies have been as always adjusting to the studio space, learning about what’s available to them there and slowly slowly moving from quiet focussed activity to having a good look around the place for themselves. I’ve also been visiting their room on Wednesdays to bring some studio resources to them, mainly musical instruments, a little bit of painting and some sensory play items, our bambini staff have been super helpful to me in this, many thanks to them.

Pikanini 1 and 2 have been taking an interest in taking photos with our iPads, strumming our ukuleles and surprising me with their ever-growing language skills, (telling me about what they’re drawing or making, not in a lot of words but slowly slowly using more and more words as their language acquisition increases). As always, our Pikaninis are still heavily into making a nice painty mess, or mixing up various things and seeing if we can get prints from them, (i.e., oil, rice, food colouring, soap, salt, clay, bicarb and vinegar, flour, water, paints, and glue). They’ve also been slowly developing their skills with our drawing tablets.

Kodomo have been practising their hammer and nails skills using packing foam as a construction material, doing lots of ukulele strumming and singing, playing with clay and straws, collaging with fabric scraps, role play writing with clipboards, paper and pen and ‘working’ on our computers, (typing thing like this: egbyvtkigk3h,jgyukkuuuuuuuuryasoufgOI7865678GVV KJ, occasionally telling me they recognise a specific letter or number). As well as threading necklaces and bracelets for their mums and dads and tons of experimental painting, colour mixing, mixed media, (collage, powder paints, acrylics, food colouring and water used in droppers, painting with spray bottles, patterned rollers and all kids of paint stamping with many recycled objects to create all kinds of interesting work.

Koorlongka have been using our scanner again to scan thing into Microsoft Paint and draw over them with our drawing tablets including their own drawings, paintings and creations of all kinds, as well as random objects and toys from home. They’ve been constructing with hammer and nails too, using boxes, foam pieces and wood. We also did some foil molds around our hands and a baby dolls head, gluing these to A3 paper and adding colour around them with some interesting results. Some of our Koorlongka kids have been making their own clothes and costumes with scrap materials too, something that seems to happen on and off with this age group over the years, a recurring interest.

I’ve done a bit of learning around Loose Parts theory this term also, which is something we all use in our centre, allowing the kids to combine random things in creative ways. This will become a heavier focus for me in future as I think there’s a lot of creative potential in it for our kids.

Mr Marwick