Our friend Yvie has been struggling and not wanting to come to the Centre. Grandma shared that Yvie really protests and it is very difficult to leave the house in the mornings. On this particular morning, Yvie cried loudly at drop off. I wanted to support her concerns and acknowledge her feelings. I asked her what she was missing at Grandmas house which was where she wanted to be instead. She named some specific toys and so I wondered with her what we could do here that could be just as fun. We did not have the toys that were so attractive to her but, I suggested we could try to make something. I went through a list of materials that we have here at the Centre that we might use. Felts caught her interest. She got very excited at the thought of making her very own felt board story.
Initially, Yvie was very concerned about working together with other children, she wanted to work alone. I reminded her that children come to the Centre because their families want them to learn how to be in a group and work together with all kinds of people.
At first, the children decided that their story would take place on a beach. They chose a unicorn, a rattle snake and a shark to be their characters. The unicorn and the snake both wanted to be the most beautiful creatures in the world. They were fighting. The shark gave them an idea. They could both be the most beautiful.
I supported the children in making their characters by tracing and helping them to cut out but I mostly stood back and let them explore the felt. Their ideas evolved and the story grew and changed. We did not focus on a concrete story but rather the children freely added characters and ideas, sharing and talking with each other the whole time. This project kept these children very happily engaged for over an hour.
What happened here was an amazing example of friendship building and learning how to share and accept other peoples ideas.