This has been a busy and excellent year for the studio; on reflection, coming to the end of the year, I’m seeing the results of our children’s efforts sitting with me to draw. Some of our kidsare now drawing independently from observation of reference materials, (as we’ve practised together) and producing great results. Our ukulele and guitar strummers, some having been practising from Pikanini on up (or having bashed on the things since they were babies in some cases), are demonstrating increased skill here. No one is a master by any means, but for the most part, by the time they’re reaching Kodomo age, they remember how to hold our instruments and are getting pretty good at strumming them, as well as being super enthusiastic about singing songs they know from church, home and their classrooms, (as well as just from their own brains, about pretty much any subject that’s being discussed).

The use of our computers and drawing tablets to create with has led to our Koorlongka children learning basic mouse skills. Our Pikanini’s watch me when I use the mouse to help them select the right tools and the colours they want and have a go also, as do the Kodomo kids, (meaning I have to reverse a lot of what they accidentally do with the computers but the exploration of these tools is a good thing at any age and is proving to lead to confidence with them as our kids get older, plus, they can’t do any harm, many thanks to I.T for providing some durable machines for us).

Our Minasan kids have moved from drawing with me at the start of the year in their own room to moving into and working in the studio in groups of around 6 or 7, building submarine houses for their toys and for their creations, painting, drawing with our drawing tablets, making music, very slowly over time learning ukulele and guitar chords, (some of our kids play at school also, this is an area I aim to develop as music is a passion of mine for sure). They’ve grown for sure this year in their respect for the space and their ability to collaborate and create independently.

Our babies have been introduced to drawing and painting tools, done lots of exploring of our musical instruments and explored our loose parts and various sensory play materials. OurPikanini’s have been super productive as well, learning through lots of repetition how to hold and strum our ukuleles (an ongoing process), identifying colours and naming them, developing their confidence and becoming more vocal as they pick up new words in short order, (always an impressive thing to see happening, and something our Pikanini staff and the Pikanini’s parents and families should be super proud of being a support to them in), beginning to count and being the most enthusiastic painters the Centre has. Our Pikaninis are also super keen photographers, learning how to take photos with our iPad and taking hundreds of them over the year, always saying “cheese” when they photograph each other. 

It’s an honour to be entrusted with helping our kids develop their creative thinking and the practical skills they need to create and to watch them grow, develop and succeed in their creative endeavours. I look forward to what next year brings and to all the great ideas and creations I will be seeing and passing on to our families.