I am getting ready for tomorrow’s NEW-START workshop and thinking of ways to introduce some magic and mystery to the environment.
The room felt like a cosy but mysterious cave and the children were all asked to remove their shoes as they entered. This signalled that we were going to be doing something quite different. We were going to get in touch with our deeper selves and try some transformation- all of us- adults and children!
We try very hard to create an air of mystery and magic at ICE and surprisingly it isn’t expensive or hard. You simply have to view the environment through the eyes of a child and then let your imagination run wild!
We have a star of learning that is switched on at every session to show how much we value learning and a learning tree complete with coloured lights that is hung with symbols of all the important learning activities we do as we go through the year.
We always have quiet, relaxing music and some soothing art/craft or books ready for the children when they arrive. I love watching the way they visibly relax as they enter this magical space and start to interact. Children are so ready to enter into their imaginations and learn when given environments such as this.
I have been into so many amazing classrooms this year to train teachers and I have seen some wonderful, inviting environments deliberately crafted by wise, child-whispering teachers who understand the effect these surroundings make for children.
Parents can create a sense of sacred importance when they eat together as a family. Simply dimming the lights and lighting a candle to represent the love of the family, can create a special atmosphere. Children are far more likely to want to talk and communicate deeply in such special spaces.
Giving ourselves a magical interlude calms us and helps us open up to each other. It is no accident that romantic restaurants have candles and dim lights! Let’s also provide those spaces for our children to nurture their wonderful sense of magic and mystery. This is how we grow the imaginations and rich neural connections children need for learning!