Working with kindergarteners
For my art therapy internship class, I received permission to observe and interact with a kindergarten class while under supervision of their teacher. My expectations of the day was to sit in the back of the classroom to take notes and to only interact with the children in specified projects; with 5 year-olds, this is never the case. Once I entered the classroom, I was like a new toy for them to play with. I introduced myself and explained that I was visiting to watch how they played and worked. I sat in the back of the room after talking with the teacher. I took notes and sat quietly for the first hour I was there.
The first interaction
During the second hour I was there, it was the children’s free time. The kids are allowed to roam freely around the classroom and enjoy in different age appropriate activities, i.e. coloring, building blocks, and playing with dolls. All twenty-two students of the class came right to me and asked me if I would play with them, if I liked their outfit, and if I would read a book to them. We decided to color together using the Easter coloring sheets that were provided. I had to move to the coloring table to do so, which was a low to the floor table with miniature chairs surrounding it. Of corse I sat down on the child size chair feeling like a giant because even seated, my knees were higher than the table. I started to color and the first reaction from the little girl to my side was, “How do you color so good?” I said because I have been coloring for nineteen years. The children were astonished and all agreed it was a long time. The more I colored, the more the group mirrored my strokes with the crayon. I was flattered to be highly regarded in their little world, but I said, “don’t just copy me, make yours better.” With a little influence from me, they colored some objects on their sheet differently, making their pages their own.
The project I came to take part in with the class was making a Peter Cotton Tail story book. After their teacher read them the Peter Cotton Tail story, I helped the students create their own seven page, cut-out booklets about the rabbit. The booklet followed the storyline, and their task was to cut out the miniature coloring book pages from their worksheet and place them in chronological order. My task was to help the teacher in putting the books together and ensuring the pages were in order. After thirty minutes, the task was completed, and it allowed us to move forward to step two: placing bunny stickers in the booklet following the actions of Peter Cotton Tail from the story. To have them accomplish this, their teacher and I had go through the storybook with them as they placed their rabbits. They had to place the bunny jumping over the flowers, crawling under the fence, and so forth. The task helped the children’s fine-motor skills, their abilities of following a storyline, and object placement. The kindergarteners and I had fun together and learned something new. I had a really enjoyable time.