Artsy Fartsy

This past Sunday, Me Too’s school had a kind of “gallery day.” Every grade was given a material to work with, then the teachers (or somebody) came up with a theme. The children all created something with that material and theme, and the classrooms were set up to sort of mimic an art museum. The auditorium had different stations where you could make different kind of crafts.

Anyway, some of the teachers are really creative and the final product is really neat. The three-year-olds material was paper. One class made bento boxes filled with paper food. Another made paper cakes. The last class made a restaurant. The teacher made tiny little menus to go beside the dishes.

The four-year-olds material was clay. Me Too’s class made treasure boxes. The class next door made portraits to hang on the wall. (I didn’t really get that one.) The other class made finger puppets, characters from certain children’s books that were displayed together around the book.

The oldest classes used wood. One theme was “voyage,” and the kids had built boats and airplanes. Another class made houses, complete with tiny squares of material hung on porches like laundry in the sun.

Um, wait… There should have been another class, too. Hmmm.


All this is neat for the parents (and grandparents and siblings and second cousins once removed) to look at. And the kids are very proud of their work. But I can’t help but wonder what happened to the kid who wanted to do something totally different, who wanted to just go wild with his material.

Sometimes I wonder if the school system here is the best choice for my kids.

But then I see something like Me First going totally crazy in the origami corner at Sister’s school, instructions and examples be damned, and I figure they might be okay after all.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. charlotte
    Dec 04, 2012 @ 10:34:06

    Hello Hamakkomummy,
    It sounds like it was a wonderful exhibition. But, I know what you mean. My daughter, who is currently attending a Japanese private kindergarten here in Tokyo, where, especially for crafts, everything always has to be the same, and perfect too, recently drew a picture at home. For every little thing she asked how it should be done, and which colors she should use… From the kindergarten visiting days I can see where this influence is coming from! I ended up explaining her that at kindergarten she would have to follow what the teacher says, and that outside of it she could do her crafts any way she likes, and that it is great to have own ideas! As happy as I am otherwise with her kindergarten I also don`t like the way how individual thinking is not encouraged, and there is always only one correct solution…


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