StoryPlay: Celebrating the Story of Art in Nature
StoryPlay is the fruition of a long-time dream I’ve had. StoryPlay is an art-inspired and site-specific storytelling and art exploration journey.
For my first StoryPlay journey, I chose to centre it on 3 specific art installations at Changi Aiport, Terminal 3 and 1.
The theme of this StoryPlay journey was ‘Seeds of Nature’. It may seem ironic to some that I would use manmade representations of Nature to raise awareness and nurture appreciation of Nature ,but I think it made for an interesting juxtaposition of ideas. The three installations looked at different aspects of nature – the beginning, its growth and maturity, as well as its sustenance.
I was largely inspired by Han Sai Por’s sculptures, Flora Inspirations. I’ve always loved the pure, organic nature of her work and these was my little way of paying tribute to her work.
First, a Seed is planted…
We looked at pictures of where seeds came from.
We shared about our favourite edibles where seeds came from.
Then, I led the children in a lovely nature poem where they pretended to be seeds growing.
I nurtured those little ‘seeds’ with one of my favourite stories, The Empty Pot, by Demi. After my little ‘seeds’ blossomed through the story, we set off to look at the second installation at T3, Daisy by Christian Moeller.
Since it was supposed to be an interactive installation that is responsive to human traffic changes, we tried jumping, clapping and shouting to get it turning towards us. Alas! We still could not see where the light sensors were. Doesn’t that explain why we were shouting too? We thought perhaps there were other types of sensors about.
Seeds, flowers, plants, trees – what do they need to grow? Air, sunlight and water.
Where does water come from?
To help the children ponder upon the beauty and importance of water, I wanted them to view view the latest and the world’s largest kinetic art sculpture, Kinetic Rain, at T1. Unfortunately, it was under repair.
But being the super-troopers, we all sat under the raindrops and made our own ‘rain’ instead with our hands and bodies. Who can resist the opportunity to jump and splash about in rain puddles right? Even if it is imaginary.
We concluded the StoryPlay session with an original Storigami (Story + Origami) tale I created. The children then got crafty and made their own little spinning paper toy to take home – a toy which intentionally relies on yet another element of Nature, Air, to work.
Children looking at photographs of different propellers as we view another installation, Daisy. In addition to paying homage to Singapore’s rich flora, the Daisy is inspired by Singapore’s role in the port and aviation industry.
Here’s what some of our StoryPlay participants had to say:
“I like to feel the sculpture, listen to stories and the craft most!”
Theo, 5, son of Sharon of Oak Tree Baby
“My son asked when the next session is going to be. My daughter loved the stories. I enjoyed it too. You are a wonderful storyteller. You did a lot of research and I am impressed!”
Susan Lim-Yap, mom of 3
” Your session is very gd for 4, 5 yr olds. My 5 yr old totally listened, did all the craft all by himself – major sense of self achievement. Still playing the “candy roll” before bedtime. I really love that last segment, very nice, very imaginative & fun!
Sharon, Oak Tree Baby
“Sarah is really fantastic! The story is very captivating and i thought my boys gonna be running all over but they were captivated! U are more than fantastic! Thank u thank u! ”
Jennifer J., mom of 2
“My kids had so much fun today; they’re all knocked out in the train now! “
Aileen, mom of 2
“It was fun! My older one loves the story telling too! My younger one loves the actions (budding of flower). Thanks for arranging such storytelling!”
Ruth Koh, mom of 2
“Thanks for taking time to prepare today’s program. I enjoyed it even though I’m not a child:)”
Dee, mom of 1, from PruneNurture
“My daughter and I had a good time today. Thanks for your effort!”
Esther Ko, mom of 2
“Love the song and books!”
Adora, mom of 2, from The Gingerbread Mum
Post-Party Stuff to Try
Whether you were here with us or not, here are some activity ideas for you to explore Art + Nature + Stories. I’m including some of the resources I used as well as those I planned but did not manage to do today because of time.
Seeds, Plants, Flowers
(inspired by Han Sai Por’s organic sculptures, Flora Inspiration, and Christian Moeller’s Daisy at Terminal 3 Departure Hall)
Poem: Seed, Sprout, Flower by Helen H. Moore. ( I made a printable of this poem in my ArtVenture pack here.)
Books: Non-fiction books about the differences between fruit and vegetables, how seeds grow, why bees and butterflies are important. Picture books like Eric Carle’s The Tiny Seed are also an interesting way of learning about Nature.
Story: I love the story, The Empty Pot, by Demi for its wonderful storyline about integrity, courage and devotion. While I usually do not like to use the original picture books in my storytelling, I loved Demi’s drawings too much not to share them today. This is a nice story video I found of it online.
Rain and Water Cycle
(Inspired by Kinetic Rain, Terminal 1 Departure Hall by Art + Com )
Songs for the little ones: I hear thunder / Rain, rain go away
Themes for exploration: Clouds, What makes rain, The water cycle
Origami Craft to try: Making a paper boat out of wax paper to float on a rain puddle
It is still not too late for you to join in our StoryPlay fun! Just hop on over to this week’s Playful Challenge. 16.1 Storytelling page to find 2 easy yet fun storytelling activities to try. I have included a link to a useful step-by-step storytelling guide there too.
This post is contributed by Sarah, an educator passionate about stories, drama, art and nature. When her hands are free of the spatula, laundry, mop and kids, she blogs about creative and playful parenting deeds to attempt at The Playful Parent.
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