By Susanna Brock
Twelve 3-year olds are finding their spots around the circle time rug. The excitement in the room is electric and they have all seen the 5 subway boxes neatly stacked on top of each other. The teacher is waiting for everyone to settle down before introducing the guest.
Having a completely unfamiliar face in the classroom is a BIG DEAL for the nursery class who usually stay within the small community of their schools, and perhaps short explorations around their neighborhood.
We at Spellbound want to honor the privilege of being invited into their school world by bringing in performances and creative workshops that deal with subjects that are fun and relevant for them. We always try to listen to their thoughts, questions, concerns and stories and then build upon the creative ideas that they constantly provide us with.
The kids who are going to see our show “Stand Clear of the Closing Doors, Please” this day are bursting in the seems with questions, comments and wiggles. “What's in the boxes?!”, “What's her name?”, “Why is she in our classroom?”, “What did I eat this morning?” And the most important question - “Will I be able to play with the things she brought!?!”
Pre-schoolers want to touch things, explore how objects work, play and move their bodies around. Our work with young children is always based in play and experiential learning. We bring in objects and material that we find exciting and explore them through storytelling together with the students. Play-based learning and arts education in preschools help children develop language, practice nonverbal communication and develop problem solving skills. It can also give children with different learning styles a chance to finally thrive. We at Spellbound work hard everyday to raise awareness about the importance of the arts for the very young and we love seeing the work in action through our residencies and school performances in preschools and daycares.
This school year we are beginning exciting new partnerships with Brooklyn Country Day and Brooklyn Doodles in addition to our continuing partnerships, and we can't wait to see which other schools and students we get to play with!
It’s never too early to start introducing your classroom to storytelling, puppetry, and imaginative play. If your school our playgroup is interested in our work and want to collaborate in some way don’t hesitate to send me an e-mail.
School Outreach Coordinator