Meeting Materials

1 Comment
Posted 10 Feb 2012 in hundred languages, materials

At a recent visiting day at St. John’s Episcopal Preschool we received many questions about how and when we introduce materials to children.

I like to think that we don’t introduce materials to children, but that children (and adults) and materials meet each other, and get to know each other, over a life time. And in that life time, relationships deepen, resurface, and are sometimes lost. New relationships are constantly forming because there is always a new material to encounter. And just as we have to get to know materials, materials have to get to know us. Clay, movement, music, will react differently in my hands than in yours; it is not a one-sided relationship.


  1. Elena

    Hi Jennifer,
    I think you are very right. I also think that one (either a teacher, an artist or both in my case) get to that understanding after many encounters with materials. We meet them, they meet us and we talk. For children it is all depending on what the adults in control do to facilitate those encounters. In that sense, I do think that it is us who “introduce” the materials to them and if the timing is good they click if not, later but the conversation ends up happening. Sometimes children take the lead and the introduction of a new material, a new language is not necessarily fostered by the adults in control and those encounters can be enriching as well.
    Nice to read you after sometime.

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