What's beautiful to one person is not beautiful to another and this is because we all view things differently but what I do know from my teaching experiences is that everyone- young and old appreciate small touches of beauty when you bring them into a space.
I recently brought in freshly arranged flowers to my Playcentres Matariki function and it was lovely to see the adults light up when they saw them. Everyone appreciates the magic that natural beauty can bring to our lives. Beautiful things make us smile. Real, authentic resources are a source of a lot of beauty. Candles (whether they are real or LED) and lights like fairy lights or soft lighting in restaurants or cafes evoke feelings of relaxation and ease. When we are relaxed and calm we can engage in play and we can be more creative and ultimately learn more.
Have a think…What things make you happy? Peaceful? Calm? Energised?
With that in mind it's important to me as a teacher and as a mum that I present things in a way that tap into our children’s sense of beauty and gives them a little bit of ‘soul food’ through our play experiences. Easy things like picking flowers from my garden for the dinner table or lighting a candle or just placing some natural treasures we’ve found at the seaside can tap into this beauty aspect for our children and for ourselves. Sometimes you might spy elaborate invitations to play online and even though some can look a bit over the top! I think the whole purpose of those is really to spark curiosity, wonder and a sense of beauty for our children. It doesn't need to be a work of art that takes hours to set up though but it does help to present your play beautifully. It shows children that we respect and value their play. I hope this helps to explain why beauty does matter for our children. I think if it matters to us as adults then it should matter to our children too. It creates special memories for them and it adds a little bit of magic into their lives, which we could all use a bit more of!
Sarah-Rose is an experienced ECE teacher and a busy mum of two boys aged 5 and 3. She has a heart centred approach to teaching and a focus of holistic and seasonal learning. She loves to get out into nature with her boys and shares fun, beautiful set ups you can make at home on a budget.
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