Books about bodies, skeleton puzzles, face painting, dressing up, x-rays of humans and animals, fascination with their own and others cuts, scrapes, bruises and broken bones – in so many ways the children show their interest around what bodies look like and how they work.
So it was a serendipitous moment when Sam’s granddad came by offering many rolls of good-one-side heavy brown paper big enough to do tracings of ngā tinana o ngā tamariki – the children’s bodies. Over two weeks, nearly all the tamariki took advantage of a chance to create their own bodies. It was a delight to see how many different interpretations of the activity the tamariki came up with. Some children drew in their bones, veins and organs. Some were more concerned that their genitalia were in place. Others delighted in adding paint in all colours of the rainbow and still others chose to clothe their bodies in fabric. One child instructed me to draw around her carefully placed legs to look like she had a tail, as she wanted to be a mermaid. Some children worked alongside each other but generally were individualistic in their creative decisions. There was quite a bit of peer support when it came to cutting out the shapes, the tuakana/teina of a more able cutter helping those who found it difficult. The discussions as children worked, and when they viewed their finished work, were wide ranging. Many were surprised to see how big they looked on the paper. Some felt the tinana looked so much like themselves they wanted to hug it, play with it or sit it on the couch to read it a book.
As several children were keen to do another body, we suggested they make a pepi – a baby, and this became a follow on activity for many children. The slideshows below show some of the action around the making of ngā tinana and then of ngā pepi.
Posted by Anne