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Nau Mai Haere mai. Welcome to Mairtown Kindergarten's blog.

21 Princes Street, Kensington, Whangarei, New Zealand

Phone: 09 437 2742

Email: mairtown@nka.org.nz

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Thursday, 31 January 2013

Planning for posibilities

Over the past few months we have been revamping our family/whanau play area at Kindergarten which has so far included new wallpaper, paint, furniture and resources.
With the start of a new year, we are now ready to undertake some bigger design plans. Our vision is to have Craig from CMC design create a doorway into our current play space.
The idea for a doorway came after Christine’s return from her REANZ Melbourne study tour; Christine shared with us a photo which she had taken of a doorway in one of the centres. This beautiful provocation inspired our team to finalise design plans of our own, which would also include a door.

Imagine how the children’s dramatic play will be enriched with the opportunity to both ‘arrive’ and ‘leave’ in their games. Role play is a powerful tool for children to re-enact real life experiences and therefore ‘make sense of the world’ by exploring ideas and actions during their play.

On Monday I sat with a group of children to discuss the teacher’s building plans and share images which have inspired our designs. When I explained to the children that we would like to create a door, they became very enthusiastic.
After looking at a selection of images of doors and discussing shape, form and openings, I asked the children to draw their own design for a door for family corner.
‘Drawing helps children to give their ideas form. In doing so they begin to clarify their thoughts and make their ideas visible for others to engage with’ (Pelo, 2007)

As the children became more engaged with their drawing many ideas were also shared verbally amongst the group;
‘It needs a window’
“The window should be green”
“No blue”
“It needs a handle. One that you hold onto”

"We need a grown up door"
This image shows some of the children’s first drawings and explanations:

Yesterday Liliana arrived at kindergarten with a tiny door made from Fimo. In Liliana’s house these beautiful little doors are created and displayed as entrances for fairies. Liliana’s door provided an excellent provocation to be offered at the clay table to encourage the children to further explore their ideas for door designs, whilst using a new medium.

‘The use of different mediums helps children to represent their ideas in other ways which not only demonstrates their learning but also enhances it. Each medium helps children practice different skills and recognise different aspects of the ideas they are pursuing’ (Curtis and Carter, 2008)


Through inspiration and persistence, the children created both 2D and 3D door designs with the clay. Some were sculpted to include intricate and detailed patterns motivated by further referenced photographs, combined with the children's own interpretations.  

Wow! the teaching team and Craig have a challenge ahead of us. We have so many design ideas to choose from it will be tricky to incorporate the plans and inspiration of all our creative tamariki! However, we do have a few consistent requests; 'the first door will be an arch shape, it will house a window (with wood on it), have two handles and open right out!'

We look forward to our new design installation and will be sure to share it on the blog...watch this space!

Nga mihi nui

Kim Townsend

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