This lab is an on-going process to inspire children to explore their own creativity. Young children are hard-wired for exploration, experimentation and discovery. When we create space for spontaneity, play and passion, kids develop purpose and confidence to be naturally themselves.My approach to working with children focuses primarily on development of attention, imagination and freedom of expression. Through training attention kids learn more about themselves, who they are, what they want, what they like, what is good for them and what is not. It can be compared to a development of a well-tuned inner compass for life. Imagination is a sister of creativity, it opens up the borders of what is possible, how the world can be, where do we want to go from here, expands vision and options of becoming. Freedom of expression stands in acknowledgement that each human being is unique and everyone’s uniqueness is to be appreciated in their own way.
Main training tools to develop these qualities are interdisciplinary encounters with arts (learning, experiencing and creating), movement, and experiences in nature. Movement is the base of any workshop that I give. Often combined with drawing it opens the space for kids where their imagination, curiosity, mobility, personal ways of perception and expression are honoured and encouraged rather than imposed by adults.
Through travels into the world of art history and discoveries of works of art from different disciplines, media and epochs children are invited not only to broaden their horizons, but also to dive into making their own experiments in drawing and painting, sculpture and collages, storytelling and performing, exploring different media, materials and techniques.
Another fundamental element of these journeys into creativity is connection with nature. From time to time, and when possible, children are invited to go out from the limited space of the indoors into the outdoors, whether on a storytelling walk or a mini-adventure in the park, field, or forest. It’s extremely important for children to have their own direct experiences of nature, while playing and exploring. Numerous research (for example, Outdoor Foundation, Nature Nurture) shows that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development. Beyond the gifts of health and aesthetics, natural environments refocus attention, train resilience and versatility, and ultimately strengthen human bonds.
This work is inspired by the work of many people (to name a few, Maria Montessori, Prof. Dr. Gerald Hüther, Elena Makarova, Vasyl Sukhomlynsky, the Agora Project, Heather Hansen, Project Wild Thing, Segni Mossi, Watermelon Birds, and many others going in related directions).