The founder of the International Fairy Tea party, Suzanne Axelsson, believes in a vison of education ‘where play and learning are woven naturally together’. The tea party is an international event which is held on the equinox giving each child 12 hours of daylight. There were 216 celebrations which took place on 19-21st of September, all around the globe. We were the only school in India that took part. On this day children are encouraged to use their imagination and learn through play. More information on her[CN1] [AH2] approach to play based learning can be found here: https://www.interactionimagination.com
On Monday 16th September, the Early Year’s children received a very special invitation to a fairy tea party, but there was a catch… They needed to help the fairies by designing a tea party for them. Many conversations took place where children identified learning experiences for the fairies. They showed compassion and empathy and understood that the fairies would be a lot smaller than them and discussed what measures they needed in place to implement a successful party. It wasn’t long before the children were talking about food. Each of the EY classes contributed to making a delectable feast for the fairies. They used their fine motor skills to make tiny fruit and vegetable kebabs, pancakes and cookies. The EY1s made fairies and a fairy garden, EY2s made a selection of clothes for the fairies and EY3s made fairy crowns.
On the day of the party, the children arrived in their best party clothes to find many stations to explore: the fairy garden with loose parts, food for fairies- fine motor cutting skills , fairy clouds- mixing and pouring fine motor skills, spotting fairies- observational skills, making fairies- winding, cutting and rolling fine motor skills, make-up- creativity, fairy houses-construction skills , fairy garden- imagination and creativity skills, fairy music and dancing- listening and gross motor skills, fairy foods- risk takers with trying new foods and wand making with sequins- fine motor skills. All these skills assist with the skills of reading, writing and numeracy and help your children grow through play and creativity.
Towards the end of the event, the children became a little disheartened. They wanted to know where the fairies were. They watched a video of themselves playing and noticed lots of glowing dots around the room (this video can be viewed by the EY parents on Seesaw). The children came to a conclusion that the fairies were there, but they may have not seen them because they were too busy enjoying their play.
After the event, the children made short reflections some of the children in EY1 said ‘I liked bubbles’ (Abhay, Shhaurya, Maya, Arna and Radovan) and Advika liked ‘my cake with my tea’. The children in EY2 enjoyed the make-up station and building fairy houses. EY3 were spotted having fun dancing with their friends to Tchaikovsky’s Sugar plum Fairy and foraging for Fairies in the fairy garden. The EY3 children decided they wanted to continue their inquiry, next week, by observing patterns of dance and creating pictures of the fairies. The children have voice, choice and ownership throughout their learning at MIS.
These activities support the mission and vision of MIS through promoting learning through reading literature on fairies, inquiring into games and food for fairies, and enhancing the children’s fine motor skills. They used their imaginations and took responsibility through designing the engagements for the day and we celebrated diversity through our amazing children. We had a selection of characters who came to the party lots of fairies, Spiderman, frogs, policemen, dinosaurs and many other characters.
I wonder what fun the Early Year’s children will be having next…
EY Teaching Team
Ideas inspired by https://www.facebook.com/internationalfairyteaparty/