Froebel believed play was a necessary element in educating the “whole” child allowing them to use all their imaginative powers and physical movements to explore his interests. He stated, “Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul.”
At Educating the Heart with Nature Art we were making fairies and creating storybooks with our fairies as the main characters.
“Nature inspires creativity in a child by demanding visualization and the full use of the senses” Richard Louv –Last Child in the Woods
Each child was free to access whatever materials they wished to use to make their fairies and elves. Wooden beads, twine, felt, yarn/wool, wire, pipe cleaners, needle and thread, (glue) acorn caps.
They hunted and collected natural materials : leaves, maple seeds (perfect for wings), branches/twigs, small stones, bark and large branches that would morph into their fairy homes.
“Children are like tiny flowers; they are varied and need care, but each is beautiful alone and glorious when seen in the community of peers.”
The older students sat quietly immersed in their artwork, using needle and thread, working out which wings would work best and how to attach them so that they were moveable. The details were important to them.
One child (aged7) made rose petals out of felt and made them into a skirt for her fairy.
“Creativity is now as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.” – Sir Ken Robinson
Another student (age 11) made a special magic stick for her fairy.
She spent time working out how she could make her fairy wings moveable.
As soon as the younger students had managed to dress their fairies with yarn they took flight with their fairies…
…and explored other trees to see which one would be suitable to build their fairy home.
They began collecting sticks, leaves , bark and a few stones.
They wanted soft leaves for the bedding – they opted for the long slim willow leaves found under the giant weeping willow which they decided would make the best place to build a home. One of the older students had heard the fairies giggling in a hole high up in the tree earlier in the morning much to the delight of the 5 year olds.
Having made homes for their fairies to share, several of the students decided they wished to make their own fairy home.
“It is vital that when educating our children’s brains that we do not neglect to educate their hearts” – Dalai Lama
Like each child, each fairy was beautiful, unique and enchanting – every students soulful creation possessed the purity and innocence of the student who made it.
Wonderful stories were created as they explored their environment with their new fairy friends.
They played joyously under the weeping willow, creating their fairy homes, running and chasing each other. laughing, singing, sharing stories.
We then grouped again to work on our storybooks….Thats for another post!
I will leave you with this photo that for me, is what all children (young and old) should experience – playing, learning and growing in nature…
Peace, joy and imaginative play become life’s constant companions when the heart is open to the benefits of nature.
Follow the link to learn more about our Nature Art Program
Would you like to spend a weekend doing Nature Art? Here is a unique opportunity to spend the weekend playing, learning and growing in nature with Marghanita : NATURE ART WEEKEND FOR ADULTS (personal development)