I remember being in Barcelona and looking at 'The Kiss of freedom'. It really hit me with how much meaning and feeling this one word 'freedom' comes. Looking at society and history we know that depending on your situation freedom takes on many forms. Based on the tiny images that make up 'The Kiss of Freedom', we can tell where our society is at and yet also what individuals are going through.
The COVID 19 pandemic is one situation where once again reality is unveiled - just how much of a difference it makes in what country you are born and to which parents. It is sad that the world is split up like this but for me personally it is also a time where I stop and take a moment to be grateful for what I have. It also reminds me of what freedom means to me.
As a parent, no matter where you are from there is a desire to offer your child as much as you can to open up a door of possibilities. As a teacher we want to teach each child skills so that they can thrive in life. We all know that education and life skills is what will make a huge difference. This includes character trades. Trades that those predecessors had who have all fought for our freedom. These are the character trades of super heroes. Through stories we learn. Through stories we teach our children value sets and examples that we hope they will follow.
This young age group is where as parents and teachers we have a huge influence. We provide them with the foundation or framework that is later filled as each child grows and follows their own journey. This is done by what each child is taught but also through there everyday life. Wonderland has been created as a program that harnesses exactly these values and skills while making sure each child finds the joy and adventure that opens their eyes and hearts, giving them a skillset that will open up possibilities and opportunities.
The reason I put communication in this category is because I know just how much freedom one gains by being a strong and confident communicator. The arts is not an easy area to choose a career in. However, through my communication skills I have been able to sell my work, express project ideas, been able to find or create work alongside to support myself and give myself the freedom to follow my dream. Communication comes in so many ways as we use both verbal communication but also our body. Strong and good communication is so vital that if you google this with tedtalks there's a whole list that comes up. If you are interested, some of my favourite can be found here. All week in the blogs I have brought up the skill set communication - how Wonderland is set up to develop this in each child. It is because I personally believe this is one of the most important skills to have and the earlier one builds on them the better.
By being able to run a class or program your way, you are not only able to be flexible to adapt it to best fit your class but you also end up taking ownership of the product. This aspect I believe is vital as it gives you the freedom to use your strength working the program around you rather than you having to fit into a box. There are multiple elements to Wonderland Interactive Storytelling: The story - with instructions on how to make it interactive, which you can use, change or ignore, the craft item that can then be adapted into more activities, the bonus game that can be played during the story, before or after the story and the themed discussion. Each element takes approximately 20 minutes. This can be expanded on if wished. You as the teacher can also decide if you want to do the whole set in one go or break it up throughout the day or throughout the week. Wonderland is set up so that you have the freedom to adapt the program to suit you and your class.
Some days you may have more energy and time than other days. This is completely normal and there is nothing worse than when you are tired or stressed with time that you can't step back and let your child do an activity by themselves. The home package is designed so that you can sit back and let your child go on the journey or if you want you can step up and join in. The puppet templates are designed to be as simple as possible so that yes while you may need to help with cutting, each child can do it themselves. And the questions at the end, they are there so that your child can continue to play, retell the story or invent new places with their puppet that you can either enjoy watch, partake in or have some time off. Wonderland home package, is set up to give you the freedom to decide how much you want to join in.
As I know a new program can be quite overwhelming, if you would like to discuss anything or trial run the story, just contact me and I am more than happy to help.
For now I wish you all a wonderful weekend maybe even filled with Wonderland.