The form of this project has been revealed over the course of several months, it’s shape informed by a variety of factors; the interests of participants, geographical location, handling objects available, and potential for linking with music and song.
During the sessions the children have been adventurers, exploring the past through the broad learning areas of Transport, Homelife, Childhood, and Industry. In an attempt to engage the groups in real life characters, many laminated photos of local scenes were introduced, however although interesting to the children they were too abstract and confusing; “They are all grey!” as one child observed.
In the end the children adopted a cloth doll called Katie Bairdie as a friend to hold on to and guide us through our many songs and adventures: riding the steam train/Down in the coalmine/at the steamie/off to school/at the foundry/ weaving tartan/along the canal Etc.
We have been very lucky to have access to a variety of handling objects from the Auld Kirk and Summerlee museums, and used these to explore the topics through the creation of soundscapes. The children had fun recording their sounds using the iPad and listening to the loops created.
The content was selected with young children in mind, considering areas that might be interesting, engaging, and provide scope for hands on participation. Making handprints with coal, creating playdoh foundry moulds, printing with real printing blocks and weaving tartan with a small table loom. Families of the participants were asked to contribute songs they could remember from childhood, and some of these were included in our sessions. We hope to compile these contributions to create a collection.
On the last visit at each nursery, the children have dressed up in Victorian dress and performed some of the songs and games to their friends and invited guests, putting on an excellent show!