Thursday, February 16, 2012

Making Things "Pop"

The time I put into my job outside of the hours the children are in the classroom is about equal to the time they are there, and that still often leaves many things undone that I would, ideally, really like to get done. I suppose this is true of any job one loves. I also suppose this is true of any job involving young children. (Have you ever known a parent who felt completely caught up?)

One of those things that just didn't happen this year was getting the classroom decorated for our Valentine's Day celebrations. We chose our "color scheme" alright, when the children decided on pink, red, purple and white. And we made all kinds of artwork that would serve quite well for the purpose, but when Monday rolled around this week, it was still all piled into a box.

That's when I had the idea to turn the job over to the kids. We got out the tape and scissors, described the problem ("We need to get this classroom decorated!") and they were off.

I don't know why I've never thought of this before, but from here on in, deciding what to do with all that artistic output will be a job for kids: perhaps a semi-permanent "decorating station."

Not only does the place look more festive than ever, but most of it is positioned right down there where the kids can not just see it, but interact with it with all five senses.

Here they skipped the tape and covered our magnet board.

At some point, we're still going to have to distribute all this stuff into their cubbies to take home (unless we turn that over to the kids as well), but this is a much better thing for it to be doing than being in a stack in a box.

We did most of the decorating on Monday, but I discovered another stash of painted hearts, so there was still work to do on the big day itself, and one child in particular took to the challenge . . .

It's always those last minute finishing touches that really make things pop, isn't it?

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Stephanie Leah said...

Thank you for sharing your solution with us! I think that idea as well. It's a beautiful thing when children taken ownership of their environment.

Cave Momma said...

Such a wonderful idea!

Perfect Harmony said...

This is BRILLIANT! Putting up children's art is so very important to each individual. I am the WORST for posting art and 'decorating'. It's one of the many things I am embarrassed to say I neglect to do. It's just one of those thing that often can get overwhelming... these children are art machines, and each piece is special to them! I feel rather inspired to make this a regular part of our day. How fun for them to be involved!

Katie said...

I stumbled into this same scenario one winter. For the rest of that year, my class was consistently decorated... Paper snowflakes, flowers, etc... It was wonderful! Hope you kids keep it up, there's no better documentation of their work :)

Ms Debbie said...

Sometimes the best ideas come when we least expect them.

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Tom, Thanks for another wonderfully creative post, and such a good solution to the problem all of us experience now and then.
And so true that you gave your children more ownership over their environment this way!
Do you also allow your children to arrange the room, I've been reading about this idea?
Your kids did an AWESOME job of decorating, and I'm quite sure had loads of pleasure from their efforts!

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