When you think about differences, many times the brain will automatically think about skin color. But those are not the only differences that children notice. As they grow up and are exposed to more people in their community, they realize that many people have different family set up than their own, they do not all eat the same foods, have the same colors. It is amazing the differences that we never think about as adults anymore, that can inspire wonder in children.
Last week one of our activities was to make rabbit masks. And it was through this activity that I realized that the Invitation to Create Mother Goose Time activities were doing something even better than opening up their creativity. It was opening my their minds to the differences in the way their friends think.
The important part of invitation to create project is letting the child feel comfortable in how they see their art project. If they want the tail of a cow on the face...then that is where it should go. But letting them know that it is ok to use their imagination and the materials the best way they can should be the goal.
During circle time we talked about the fact that rabbits do not all look the same. We talked about how some of them look very very different from each other and that they could make their rabbit masks look like a rabbit from nature or they could come up with their own rabbits. Which as you can see from the title picture, is exactly what they did! As they worked quietly together, I saw some of the children look over at their neighbors to see what they were doing.
"There are no Rainbow rabbits!"
"Thats why I am making one"
"Ok, maybe I will make mines have another color too. It's mines so I can make it like I want"
"Yep! Ms. Tessie said all our rabbits don't have to look the same!"
I loved that I was able to hear this conversation! They were so into the differences being created and supportive of their friends as they made their art different. This leads to children being able to recognize that they do not have to be just like their friends. It helps them feel secure in their choice to be different from what everyone else is doing.
It's how we build confident, creative, kind people. Not by requiring their art to look the same as their friends, but by encouraging them to think for themselves. It's ok our art is different, it's ok our friends are different.
Live Long and Embrace our differences!