Spring Awakening: Join us Thursday, March 9th at our annualGala & Auction!
Location: 134 Duane St. Time: 9.15 - 10.15 a.m.
Location: 55 Hudson St. Time: 1.15 - 2.15 p.m.
Mindful Parenting: Riding Emotional Waves with Calm & Compassion
Raising Community-Minded Children
Grappling with Achievement Culture: How to Raise Emotionally Healthy Kids in High-Achieving Settings
Beyond Stereotypes: Understanding Gender, Socialization & Development
55 Hudson St. More details to follow in the weekly newsletter.
Welcome to the Movement and Drama Studio at Hudson Street!
For me it’s been a 17 year adventure in developing the idea of a special place and time to celebrate what young children do so naturally and are such profound and innate parts of their development. Every year is a chance to discover new ways of working together to honor the importance of pretending and playing.
I work with each class twice a week for about an hour. Each class has a different experience depending on the schedule, the interests and needs of the children and teachers, and the ever surprising limitations and gifts of the health and safety protocols. Studio time has been in the park, Zoom in the classroom, in the Movement and Drama room, and Zoom at home.
During the fall we were blessed with amazing weather which made it easy to take advantage of all the resources in the Washington Market Park. The outdoor environment is flexible, surprising, and ever changing. It’s a place which gives the freedom to be loud and to move freely. It is a place to have feelings of joy, fear, excitement, and being quiet.
A lot of time has been spent digging in the sand in the southwest corner of the park. The children have a sense of purpose and ownership; digging for worms, making traps for ants, finding dinosaur bones, making cakes, collecting leaves, plotting a farm, planting seeds, and discovering roots. Being in person with the children allowed me to observe who they really are and are becoming. One day I saw a younger child making a blueberry cake on her own. Then the next week she inserted herself with the older intense British bake-off group that likes to boss the teachers around, “Don’t look, it’s not ready yet.”
One week there was a giant lake that generated lots of questions: Where did it come from? The next week it was gone. Where did it go? Another time there were patches of frozen ice over the sandy “lawn”, The children loved cracking and slipping on and digging in this new material.
In October, the Movement and Drama room opened up as a place for exploration. I set a few ground rules that help it be an emotionally safe and fun time. It is a shared work. Everyone can join in. We make room for everyone. The baskets stay on the shelves, so that we can all find the materials we need. There is the magical light projector, recycled materials, play props, and moveable walls and furnishings. The children are having ideas; let’s make a rocket ship, a movie theater, a birthday party, go camping, and go on an airplane.
There have been and will be times of meeting on Zoom at home. It’s certainly like nothing I ever could have imagined. My intention with the time is to still have sharing of ideas, shared experience, and also to honor the pretending and playing that is so much of their life at home. Everybody in their own homes makes a tent/cave/spaceship. And for example, I tell a story about little animals taking shelter in winter while the Bear Snores On. Going into outer space together is one of my favorite themes. I love the children’s commitment. One child insisted that it wasn’t dark enough in the living room, so he had his grown-ups move the computer into the bathroom. I play atmospheric space music and create light effects with mirror balls, mystery objects and a bright light, and teachers put on their space zoom backgrounds. The values of making do with what you have, and creating props with what you have on hand to elaborate on your ideas are reflected in working together in this way.
In September I did some zooming into the classroom using a repertoire of music and movement songs that provide a frame for free movement and interaction. Coming soon we’ll be trying out moving together in the space of the movement and drama room.
My joy is creating space and time for children and adults to move together, to play together, to discover art and light and beauty. I am so grateful that you are sending your wonderful children to school.
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