From Here to there – ‘work in progress showings’

December 21, 2009

Observations from the Performance & Participation sessions



1st showingPlaymates nursery – This was the nursery where we had done the explorative and observation work.  The children were enthralled throughout the performance without exception, although when it came to the ‘free play’ session afterwards – interestingly they repeated what they had done in the workshop session we had done before.  We thought after seeing the ‘mini landscape’ they would be more eager to build things – but they wanted to wear the card and tubes again as clothes.

 Feedback from the staff at the nursery:

  • The children didn’t see the performers as specifically male and female, but they strongly identified with them as adults and with ‘what they did with the objects’.
  • Impressed at how simple things / objects can bring such enjoyment, creativity and music possibilities.
  • The memory of the first workshop meant that the children wanted to repeat the activity.
  • One particular boy, Jia – Jian (who has English as a 2nd language) has been mute whilst at nursery.  Now he is using ‘sounds’ in his play and engaging in parallel play with the other when previously he remained very isolated.
  • In general so much laughter and excitement over the anticipation of what would happen next.
  • Understood the story from the narrative journey and were fascinated by it.
  • One boy came in the next morning and wanted to show how he had brushed his teeth, ‘ding!’
  • They felt the project had made a huge difference to both children and staff – in giving staff ideas for ‘play’ and ‘creativity’ and giving the children a greater confidence and enjoyment.


2nd & 3rd showingSilkstone pre-school – The 2nd show was for 2-3 year olds, and the 3rd show was for 3-4 year olds.  Both shows in the afternoon went really well too.  The staff there reported that they noticed that the younger audience really loved the games with the sound (1st exploration) and the card choreography (2nd exploration) and were actively repeating sounds and laughing at the peek a boo, the older ones were particularly engrossed with the little narrative journey (3rd exploration) – but also enthralled by the earlier sections although they didn’t imitate the sounds like the younger ones had done. 

The ‘free play’ sessions were completely different from the session at ‘Playmates’ and was hugely informative as to how much the children had taken from the showing.  The children used the tubes, boxes and card to construct towers, bridges and flats, as they had seen in the 1st and 2nd explorations.  One little girl got a little lego character to go up and down in the lift – directly imitating the performance.  Some children played on their own making boats/cars out of card & some did 2D pictures on the card using the tape. Two children made a den out of the large card and hid from the others.  There were some lovely moments and interactions – where many of the children worked ‘together’ to construct large towers, adding to one another’s ideas. 

The staff at both nurseries were ‘blown away’ by what was possible with simple card and boxes – they now have lots of ideas that they want to try out.  We left both settings with some card, tubes and cardboard to see how the children continued to use the materials in the following weeks after our visit.


  1. sorry have been having probs uploading media and then loosing my internet connection – it seems i’ve manged to insert a few images several times by mistake! apologies, Tash x

  2. Hi Tash, was this in the Uk at takeoff or Bologna?
    love Rx

  3. HI Rachel,
    This was presented at Takeoff as part of the departure lounge slot – work in progress showings – we had a 25 mins slot to show stuff and ask questions of the delegates afterwards. I have a final instalment to write up on the ‘Takeoff’ experience which went really well. will try to update blog asap. Will I see you before you leave in feb?
    much love tash x

  4. Hi Tash,
    i doubt it love, am off in a weeks time, sounds fascinating and look forward to reading about it, good luck with everything,

    • Wow Rachel! Good luck with the move to Oz – am sure things will go really well, keep in touch with your news – will u have a blog out there? love to all the family and best wishes, Tash

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