Dear You Art Project

Mail Art + Pen Friends = Dear You Art Project


Welcome home! Stories from Singapore

2017, 3 years old, 4 years old, Dear You Art Workshops, Singapore, South AfricaArlene TuckerComment

When we realised that the topic on 'Building a Home' has come up again after Lay of the Land, there was a room for doubt about how differently children might react to the same theme with little twist in the provocations. 

Our children gave physical descriptions of their homes by talking about the shapes and surfaces and made comparisons with their peers'. 

During our whole group meeting, children shared about how they could connect all their pop-up homes and make a City not realising that it was the intention of the Author too. 

Interviewing each child based on the suggested questions gave us an insight about individuality in their thinking. Creating a pop-up home encouraged children to think about dimensions in their homes. They loved it.

Your home says so much about you. What is your home like?  Is it in an apartment complex or is it a single building with a garden?  What do the surfaces of your home feel like? Think about others who live in this home. What if you could fold up your home and take it everywhere with you? What parts of your home would you want to carry with you on your travels?

Avinaash: My house has a rectangle roof. There is an automatic door too. There is another door which you need to use the key to open. It is a single building with a garden. The floor usually feels cold. My daddy, Mummy, me and my brother and my Grandmother stay with me. I would love to take my plane room along with me wherever I go. There are many toys in that room.
Jing Ru: My house has a rectangle roof. There is a gate at the garden. There is a staircase near the garden. The staircase will take us to the shoe-rack where we put our shoes. It is a single building with a medium sized garden. My Mummy, Daddy, me and my two aunties stay there. I have a very big dog too. I would like to carry my playroom along with me where ever I go. It makes me feel happy.
Emilia: My home has a dining area and there is where you walk then you see the study room and then you can see my room and then my Mummy’s and Daddy’s room. I have a balcony. I have a tricycle out at the balcony and a small scooter and one balance bike. I live in a condominium where many people stay in one building. There are three swimming pools at my place. My sofa feels soft. My floor feels hard. I would love to bring my room wherever I go because it makes me happy.
Caitlin: My house has lots of pointy things outside. The driveway of the hall is cracking. It is very old. There are rectangular windows on the first floor which are very big. They don’t have grills. You can just unlock it by pulling something up that makes a click sound and slide the window. I feel that my home is bigger than the school but I don’t think so because it only has two levels. I would love to bring my toy room along with me wherever I go because it has many toys. I have got a lot of games to play with you.
Jiang Xi Wen: There are many trees near my house. When I take the lift, I see some lights in the lift. Once the door opens you need to walk to the house with the white door. When you open the door you will see my brother making a tree. He is making a decoration. My mummy, Daddy, brother and sister stay with me. I like to bring my kitchen wherever I go because there is so much fun in there. I can make bubbles in the kitchen by filling a cup with water and adding soap.
Aahan: My home is white and green. I live in a tall building together with other people. It also has other condos. My sofa is soft and the wall is hard. My floor has some kind of rock designs on it. My Mummy, Daddy, brother and aunty stay with me. My friend Etsa visits me sometimes. I like my bedroom the most and would like to take it along wherever I go. I have a bed which opens up. You can find some pillows, blankets and bed-sheets in there.
Oliver: There is one bed for my Papa and Mama and one bed for my sister and a bed for me. I have one big pool and two small swimming pools. My sister likes to play in the toy room. The toys are supposed to be in the living room but they are on my bed. There is a garden next to my home. My floor is smooth and white. I would love to take my toy room wherever I go. I can play the toys. But when it is time for us to go out, we cannot play.
Lin Jia Wen: I live with my Mom, Dad, brother and my aunty. My sofa feels rough. My floor is white. But the floor in my Mummy’s room is brown. My brother’s room and my room are also brown. My house is in a tall building. Other people also stay in the building. There is a car park outside my house. My Mummy parks her car there. I like my room the most. I would like to bring my room wherever I go because my Mummy allows me to draw on my own room wall.
Jordan: My house is like a nature park because there are many flowers and plants growing in my garden. My Mom and uncle grow them. My Daddy, Mummy, sister and aunty stay in my house. I have two pet dogs and one cat. My cat is a good climber. You will see my door and staircase when you enter my house. I have a baby doll in my room. I would like to bring my bike wherever I go.
Advaith: In my living room, the floor has got some square patterns. In my room, the flooring is similar to those in my classroom, wood floor, goldenish brown. The walls are bumpy as though they have mini mountains on the walls. My parents share the home with me. My house is on level three but there are people living above my level. I would love to bring my own bedroom wherever I go because it is so full of toys (although it is not possible).
Julian: My bedroom has powder, body-cream and toys. I also have train tracks and trains. My floor has square patterns and marks on it. My wall is smooth and white. My sofa’s armrest is hard. The back part is also hard. The bottom is cushion and is so soft. My Mummy, Daddy, Grandpa, Grandma, Tita, Oli and Kristin share the home with me. I have a muslin blanket on my bed to smell and fall asleep.
Zhu Yu Hang: My house has a lift. I live on the third floor. I have to take the lift everyday to go back home. My house is grey. There is swimming pool down stairs. There is a toy in my house. It is my favourite. It is a rocket. I take it wherever I go.

Warm Regards,
Rachel & Nan Nan

The 3-4 year old artists from EtonHouse Bilingual Pre-school in Singapore are making and sharing art with the 3-4 year old artists from Oakdale Montessori Preschool in Cape Town, South Africa.

Extending our inquiry into the world of 'Changes'

2016, 3 years old, 4 years old, Mexico, SingaporeArlene TuckerComment

Mail Art 3 was another interesting project. It was amazing. We also extended our inquiry to 'Changes' in general where children talked about what 'Change' meant to each one.

What is change? What does it mean to children? Children usually use this word in context with clothes. However the meaning varies. Why are we talking about change here?

Children wanted to know if the changes in our environment are similar with those in other countries. Celin said that she saw snow in Korea. Emilia shared that it only rains in Singapore. Advaith shared that in some parts of India it snows. 

I started off by reading the 'Day and Night Monkey'. This gave the children the opportunity to converse about how night is different from the day time. A few children shared that they could only watch television for a while at night. Julian shared that there was once where the sky grew dark and he thought that it was night but it was not. It was going to rain. Ethan agreed with him and shared that the sky tricked him. He thought that it was going to rain but it was night time. 

I had an amazing time conversing with the children about 'Day' and 'Night'

Jordan drew about Night and Day Safari. He shared about how his mum enjoyed the fire show at the Night Safari and about how bright the fire was. He shared that the Night Safari was dark and there were no lights around except for the lights in the shelter. Emilia asked about why there were no lights. I shared with the children that sometimes when people go on a Night Safari, they do not carry torch lights as they might invite animals to them. Then Emila asked about what else they could do. I continued saying, " Maybe A fire torch where fire is used. Fire is hot and dangerous but there is a special way of using it so that you do not catch fire." Emila continued to ask, "But why fire?" Then I asked, " What happens to darkness when a candle is lit up?" Jordan replied, " It becomes bright." Emilia smiled and went, ' Oh yes!' Then children took off from there about how animals might shun away from the fire to protect themselves. 

Emilia drew buildings at LEGOLAND.She shared that the buildings were light green during the day and became very dark during the Night as she had to go to sleep. Everyone had to sleep too.

Jing Ru drew the Zoo. Jing Ru's focus was on colours. She shared about how the colour of the sign board appeared to have changed during the day and Night. During the day it appears Green and at Night it appears purple. Then she thought for a while and said "I think purple and red can make black." Great thinking! I loved it! Jing Ru can be given the opportunity to work with lights and paint of different colours." Then Adu came to me asking," What colour is this?" Pointing to a dot made by maker on his paper. When I said purple, he continued," It looks purple here right? But when I turn the paper to the back of it, it looks brown. How is that? "

Jeongwon drew her Mummy in a garden. She painted a story about how her Mum got eaten up by a shark when she went out. And that night her dad had to cook for the children and they all slept. In the morning, her Mum returned. She realised that she had been dreaming.

Ethan drew flowers and volcanos. He shared that some flowers bloom during the night and close during the day. Moreover he said that they can be found in india.

Adu drew Volcanos and shared that when everything is dark during the night, as the Volcano erupts, the lava will be bright. Besides he shared that not all the volcanos would erupt.

Xi Wen drew a legoland building. She said that the building is very colourful during the day. But at night, it will be dark only the windows will have colours and light.

Leeann shared about going to her cousin's house with her family. In her picture she drew the sun low that it almost touched the ground. She said it is going to be night time as the sun is going down. She also shared that everything(flowers)grow big during the day.

Julian shared about going to the Supermarket with his Grandma during the Night. He also shared about going to his cousin's home and playingswords during dinner. He had dinner with his parents' friends, went back and slept. He woke up in the morning and had his breakfast. He shared that he had the snack which Nicole had placed in the birthday goodies bag. Then he played tennis which was bought by his Grandpa from Kuala Lumpur. When it is morning, I saw a moon but it was not clear.

Nicole: It is Morning. I have drawn the eyes of Morning. Can you see the rainbow? I see the sky and the sun and the rainbow in the morning. At night, i see the Night star. I can see the birds flying and sleeping. My pool is blue at night and it is the same in the morning.
Celin: Night time is dark. The stars are sparkling. The sun is coming soon. Morning, someone gets up and smells the flower. The sun was hot and someone goes into the house. Then it was almost Night time again. 

Avinaash: I drew the sun and moon. When I wake up in the morning, i see the Sun. When i sleep in the Night, I see the moon. Then the sun come up again. Then the clouds also come out.

Zhi Han drew a girl and a bunny and drew told a story. ' There was a girl. It was the first day of her own life. When the girl goes out, she sees the biggest sun in the world. The girl finds a swimming pool which is icy cold and has toy sharks inside. Then the little girl sees a bunny hopping by. She feeds him carrot as he is hungry. Then the little bunny wanted to follow the girl home. The little girl took him home and asked her Mummy if she could keep the bunny. Her Mummy said, " You can shower the bunny and you can play." And then it was Night time and the bunny slept beside the girl on the bed. And she read the story,' The Hunter who Got To the Forest' to the bunny.

Jia Wen drew the stars, moon and blue sky for the Night sky. She drew a sun and yellow sky for the morning sky. She shared that she could see clouds and Sun in the morning and moon and stars outside at night.

Hope you enjoyed reading the stories.


Day and Night.jpg

Nursery 2A, 3-4 year olds at 215 EtonHouse Bi-Lingual Preschool in Singapore are making and sharing art with the 4 year olds from Nursery B at Colegio San Patricio in Monterrey, Mexico.

Observations from Ms Senthamarai, a loving teacher

2016, Singapore, MexicoArlene TuckerComment

Our homes represent more than our financial assets; they have a deep and unique emotional meaning. Our earliest memories of home are often connected to our childhood. Layers of love (our 2nd mailing project with Mexico) helped us to cogitate about our homes, inside and outside. It was not a mere art experience that just involved paper, oil pastels and paint to enhance creativity but a reflective process that helped children to share their perspectives through illustration of what home meant to each one.

Personally, contemplating about my home gave me flash backs of both my wonderful and unpleasant experiences during my childhood days. I remember the time when my Dad discarded a wardrobe and placed it outside my house to be hurled out. My friend (my neighbour) of my age, used to join me to play in that wardrobe. We used to hide inside and pretend that it was our home. There was a discarded table outside too and we used to smuggle food from home (scramble eggs in a bowl), sit outdoors and party there. It was so fun. I was about three at that time and my memory is still vivid. I felt sad when I had to move out when I was four but there was a tinge of excitement of how my new house was going to be.

I believe that you have memories to share too.  These memories might help us to understand our children better.

At school, the moment we handed the photographs( of the homes) to the children, they got excited and started chatting with each other. It was spontaneous sharing amongst them (between friends) and 'meeting time' became obsolete.

When we finally settled down for discussion after about ten minutes, all the children had something to say about their home and they couldn't wait for their turns. Adu said that he might forget if he doesn't say it now.

Actually this is true. I realised that children are just like us...or at least i could reflect my teachers' meeting where sometimes I would be bubbling with ideas and just can't wait to relate my opinion.

Children were able to describe their homes in various ways E.glevel 1, fifth storey , tall building, high etc. A child reflected about a time where she cried at home ( a sad memory). Another reflected about what happened to her vase of roses when the water became dirty. Others related about how special their homes were.

Drawing about homes aided at sharpening observation skills of children. Many wished that their homes were colourful and made colourful illustrations with the oil pastels. Getting down to our children's level( height) while taking the photographs might have given us a view that might be familiar to children. A child couldn't recognise her home (from exterior) as she had not seen her home from the angle which her parent took the photograph from. It made me realise that children observe things from their level (physical, emotional or/and social) which may differ from our perception.

Anyway, we have finished our art project and sent them to Mexico. So what is next? Let's look onto the homes in other parts of the world. How are they different from ours and how similar are they? Is our environment changing constantly? Are there reconstructions going on?

Ms Senthamarai (Rachel)

Nursery 2A Core-Teacher
EtonHouse Bilingual Pre-school

The Layers of Love, Dear You art project. This picture depicts the artist's home and their artistic representation of it from the outside.

The Layers of Love, Dear You art project. This picture depicts the artist's home and their artistic representation of it from the outside.