Term one has been a busy and productive time for our little people and schoolies in the studio. Visiting the Bambini room we’ve been working on the beginnings of drawing skills and using paint brushes, getting messy with paint, and making contact collages as well as exploring musical instruments and playing with soapy bubble paints. The Pikanini’s have been learning ukulele basics, (starting with how to hold the instrument and attempting to strum, a slow process with such little folks but we are seeing success over time), we’ve also been working on a lot of construction and collage work with recycled materials and drawing with Microsoft Paint as well as making animal sounds, singing some simple songs, naming colours and playing with Gruffalo wooden spoon puppets.

The Kodomo kids have been exploring and constructing with our loose parts and practising their hammer and nail skills with boxes and card, as well as continued work learning how to hold and strum our ukuleles and playing with our music making app Fruity Loops both with touch screen controls, a MIDI keyboard and MIDI guitar. They have also been working with colour mixing, skilling with scissors and collage work creating their own self-initiated work as well as making some flowers from felt, coloured paper and some donated CD’s.

Koorlongka has had an ongoing interest in making houses with our recycled boxes, playing various roles in their houses, (i.e. using a box cubby house as a post office in the North Pole). They’ve been doing some paper mâché work around a woven wicker vase, (in which we will put Kodomo’s flowers), and working with hammer and nails and some wood scraps from REMIDA, (a recycling centre for arts and education), as well as exploring our musical instruments.

The Minasan children visit in the mornings before school, during the school holiday program I work with the Minasan team and often spend a lot of time drawing with our Minasan kids, a few of which have become pretty amazing little artists who no longer seek my help and draw independently, which is great. We have all kinds of creative interests going on in the Minasan room, lots of construction of rockets, space helmets, robot costumes, some work with scrap materials to make “fashion”, lots of painting and building and inventing of interesting things such as a “10 second timer”, made with two milk bottles and some rice and lots of beds made for pets using stuffing, material and big plastic sewing needles to make pillows and cut out blankets from donated fabrics.

Outside of programmed activities the studio is also run as a place for children to freely express their ideas and this is the largest part of what goes on in the space, through painting, drawing, singing, construction, role play writing, (or for our older Minasan children real writing, including some short stories typed up on our computers), and lots of creative play with puppets and boxes and all kinds of random recycled loose parts our children create a lot of interesting things and have a ton of fascinating creative/collaborative interactions.

At home I’ve been studying Indonesian and have started creating educational videos attempting to teach language through song that we can use in our centre, the first being available here:

Mr Marwick