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Cavan wk 3


wk 3 An activity for the parents

There were many more families at the session this week. Some families had told friends who came, some were parents and toddlers that had not been for a while and now came back and others were completely new. There was a great buzz in the room as teas and coffees came out with home made cakes. 

We decided to bring in the story a little earlier than the previous week and see if we could incorporate it into this part of the session. Many of the kids came and sat near but their attention was much less focused than the previous weeks. This is to be expected with a much larger group but I did feel the fact that some of the parents were still chatting amongst themselves whilst I was telling the story of course made it harder for the kids to focus. To have more attention for the story we might need to wait until the teas etc are all finished and settle for a shorter session.


After the story (which is about seeds) we asked the kids to try some seeds which some were happy to do straight away but most only tired after seeing their peers do so. 

We then put a large circular piece of drawing paper on the floor and asked the kids to help stick it to the floor giving them small pieces of tape. We then put a selection of coloured beeswax crayons on the floor for them to draw with. The children were drawn to this activity like a magnet and became very absorbed with the paper and crayons. 

The shape of the paper created an inclusive atmosphere for the work as they naturally formed a circle around it. The children that did not join in were the youngest in the group, those under a year old, and two of the boys who seem to want to play independently in the sessions. Perhaps this will change over time for them and perhaps taking a few more of the distracting toys out of the space will also encourage this. It is I feel also absolutely fine if they don’t. For both these kids and the youngest kids they will also be learning and developing through being aware and observing activities as well as doing them.

Whilst the kids were absorbed in the drawing we set out paper, scissors, chalk and felt for the parents to ‘play’ with. We asked if they’d like to create some shapes to do with spring that we could later sew onto a play mat. Not all the parents joined in but most did. There was a great buzz around this table and chat. Some got really engrossed and produced some beautiful work. We felt this had created a further sense of inclusiveness in the group as they worked together chatted and were clearly proud of their work. It also seemed that many found this was a lot of fun to have the opportunity to be creative themselves. 

We noticed pride in their own work and in their kids in this session. The cameras all appeared as they saw their own children drawing collectively in a group on the circular paper. The cameras also came out as they finished their own pieces with the felt and asked friends and partners to photograph themselves holding their own work. 

Jess remained at the big table while I kept with the kids drawing on the floor for this part of the session. After drawing I ripped paper with the kids and we dipped this in water and placed them on the drawing. We used the same ‘spring’ colours for this as the adults were using in felt and the circular paper on the floor became a visualization of the mat that might develop over the weeks.

This felt like a really fun session for everyone. It seemed to be very successful to bring the focus onto activities for the adults for part of the session. This felt very natural and communal.


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