Working with early years

Last week I was lucky to take part in a truly inspiring training session, Drama and Art for Early Years Practitioners, which took place at the October Gallery where I used to work as Education Coordinator. The session was led by the highly talented Dani Bradstreet who runs family workshops there throughout the year in a programme I set up several years ago. I’ve worked quite extensively with early years, both formally in schools, or in galleries and museums, and of course with my own two, and this turned out to be a very refreshing and playful session. The workshop helped us to extend our skills and reminded us of key principles when running art/drama workshops with under fives as well as introducing some very successful techniques: creating tunnels for toddlers to crawl through; using sheer fabric to playful effect – I never realised how versatile it can be in creating mood; punctuating workshops with music and demarcating areas for role play using masking tape to create space ships, boats and houses to take children on an adventure. Dani also gave helpful advice on transition moments which can be sticky with young children! She’s going to be running more sessions there – I can’t recommend them highly enough.

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