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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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Tuesday, 30 July 2013

The Beading Tree

When the children arrived back at Kindergarten after the term break they were greeted with the provocation of the beading tree. This was set up on the low table along with a wonderful array of small and large beads, pliable wire and ribbons.

The way in which this was set up in a beautiful and aesthetically pleasing way was done with purpose and intent. The intention being to invite children in and inspire them to create some treasures for the beading tree. In turn they would be crafting an art installation for Kindergarten; something that was beautiful, pleasing and inspiring to others who would be able to view it for a long time to come.
“Aesthetic considerations support the teacher’s child-centered approach to teaching and that the environment that has been developed ‘speaks’ to the children about how they want them to use it. The teachers are able to combine both beauty and functionality.” (Aesthetics-ECE Educate- NZ MoE)

This quickly became a space where children came to quietly sit and engage in making delightful beaded gifts for the branches. This activity had a sense of calmness about it and the level of engagement was very deep.

Threading the tiniest of beads proved to be quite challenging at times, however the children involved concentrated hard with the task at hand. Carefully the beads where picked up using the pincer grip hold. This enabled the children to have good control over the beads and wire as they threaded.

"I was making a few ones of the ball on the wire. It's hard but I did it because my Mum told me to do it. I made so many for the tree." (Eirwin)

Threading is great as it fosters fine motor skills which we use in many other areas of life.
 “Fine motor skills involve the small muscles of the hands that enable such functions as writing, grasping small objects, and fastening clothing. Fine motor skills involve strength, precision and dexterity. They affect learning and living skills.” (Villeger)

The wonderment of this activity was very enticing for many children and lots of them returned on numerous occasions to create more wonderful pieces for the branches. The beads and their beauty were also talked about frequently as children discussed which ones they liked and why.

"Hayden doing beads. Hayden doing more and more and big ones." (Hayden)

"I was using something to make something. I was using beads and wire and I like using these because I do. I tried to get the wire and put the bead on them. I could see one little bead. I put it on carefully. You have to be careful with tiny beads because you might drop it and lose it and I'd have to find another one." (Sahara)

The children took their time as they decided where they wanted their beaded creations to go on the tree. There was also a lot of revisiting happening and discussion around which beaded piece was their favourite. It was so lovely seeing everyone admiring it's exquisiteness.

"I was putting beads on the tree. I love all the colours of the beads because they make me happy." (Kate B.)

"It was a little bit hard sometimes because the beads were tiny. I liked hanging my beads on the tree." (Jaimee)

The beading tree will now be displayed in Kindergarten. By displaying the children’s great work we are showing you that we value their efforts, which empowers them to keep on creating.

So why do we provide children with beautiful materials?
“To a young child, the world is full of materials to touch, discover, and explore. To find, collect, sort and use materials is to embark on a special kind of adventure.”
(Topal & Gandini)



Neetz said...

Fantastic stuff! I love how engaged the children seem! What a great idea! ;) - Juanita

Kate - An Everyday Story said...

I utterly adore this provocation. So very inviting and engaging. I know that I couldn't resist it. How wonderful to be greeted with something so beautiful.
I love it.

Helen said...

I love this idea and will definitely use it with my new class of little munchkins! Thank you for sharing this with us:-)

Luka Dobre said...

So wonderful!
I would like to do this activity with my little one (she's 3yo). Where do you get the beads from?. They are beautiful indeed!

Louise said...

This is a truly beautiful activity and one that I replicated at our preschool. I hope you don't mind. We had the same results: a calm area that children flocked to, plenty of conversations, engaged children, improved fine motor control, families donating beads and lots of people joining in making a threading for the tree. There were comments from everyone who entered the preschool on how beautiful the tree was and how it evolved over the week. A great community project. Thank you for sharing such wonderful ideas.

Marie said...

What a great way to give our beading projects a more permanent home. And of course, we can never have enough trees inside!

Anonymous said...

stunning provocation I love the way you are capturing the child's voice.

Michelle José said...

Thank you so much for sharing this experience, very inspiring.

Nelly said...

Thank you for sharing this fabulous idea. I will be doing this in classroom this year. I see you have used a short table. I'm looking for one can you tell what is the height and width of the table you've used please?

Mairtown Kindergarten said...

Hi Nelly. The table is 35cm high and it is 1m by 1 1/2 metres. Hope that helps. Christine