just playing? the easel as inspiration

This post is the third in the series called "Just Playing?"
Please join fellow bloggers in the series as we offer photo prompts of PLAY to provoke group reflective practice and give voice to the developmental values that are imbedded in play. Scroll to bottom of post to link up and to see who else had photo-bombed about play!
Just Playing.
We have all heard this before, and maybe even said it ourselves:
The children are "just playing".   [gasp!]

2 girls, 2 easels, 2 paintings, 2 stories
However, as early childhood educators, we really do know better than that.
Research knows better than that, too. Play is the healthiest and most authentic way children learn about themselves, about others and about the world they live in. A great Play resource is The National Institue for Play led by founder Dr. Stuart Brown.

This week's 2 highlighted photos focus on the world of the easel, paint, friendship and storytelling!
Can the easel provoke complex play?
Can the easel be inspiration for children to engage on many levels?
Questions for consideration:
What is happening in the photos?
Who are the players?
What materials are present?
What are the developmental values embedded - possibly - in the scenarios?
Why is any of this play important?


One easel, One completed painting, One story told all the way to "The End"

Thanks for Just Playing at the easel!

just playing
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  1. I love the story that accompanies the artwork! The girls are working together, so they are practicing cooperative play and listening to others. :)

  2. Emma - Yes, the girls worked for a long time on both paintings and dictating their stories!

  3. They are reinforcing their eye-hand coordination, small muscle control, and early literacy skills. They are also exploring their creative expression.

  4. I love the experimentation with color, the long brush strokes and the self control and regulation exhibited- the paintings are still showing the chosen colors and not the infamous "preschool brown." There is color mixing, fine motor skills- gross motor skills, experimentation, and the stories that come along with the painting show intentional thought. The child expresses order, understanding of the development of a story, characters, setting.... There is also cooperation and social skill navigation happening being that the girls are working together. I would assume that there is a considerable amount of conflict resolution and problem solving- negotiation taking place in order for them to come to an agreement upon the work of art and the story being shared.


Please share your ideas, comments and feedback! Thanks!