Mrs Teapot Early Years session

Mrs Teapot's Transformational PlayHere is an extract from a report from Liz, our Imaginary Leaps artist about developing imaginative play from the Early Arts Dandelionroar blog

“Just recently I have been delivering the Imaginary Leaps workshop – Mrs Teapot’s transformational objects. During one session in a Sure Start centre in Rochdale, a child’s imagination made me cry (after the session in the van of course). After playing with household objects for a while with a group of around 8 early years, I introduced “Mrs Teapot.” a lovely round silver teapot with large googly eyes in just the right position and a glamorous tea-towel on her head. The little ones love her. I began manipulating her, talking to each child in turn. One little boy gave Mrs Teapot more than the normal amount of attention (around 5 minutes is usual, then they begin to create their own puppets out of the household objects). But this little boy formed a relationship with Mrs Teapot. He kept asking for “mummy,” – I thought he was getting fretful and asking for his own mummy. But no, he believed that Mrs Teapot was “mummy.” We began to play. He asked “mummy” if they could go shopping. Off we went. We “bought” bananas, tomatoes, potatoes from the “shop.” Then we went home and had a cup of tea and some cakes, made a stew and had a nap. Just like the description Tash gave in her blog about children waking their parents – he had great delight in continually waking Mrs Teapot from her sleep. This went on for ages! The rest of the group were happily creating puppets with their early years practitioners. The child would not let “mummy” go. So, we continued playing out his story, until a very old battered teapot was given googly eyes and another glamorous tea-towel. He immediately turned round, saw the pot and began called her “nanny.” Oh my word, the child was associating the older pot with his grand mother. He was delighted and full of delight for an hour! During a discussion after the workshop the early years practitioner said that the child was normally withdrawn, rarely spoke, didn’t really mix with the other children and was very shy. When it was time for me to go, I was worried that he had become attached to “mummy” and “nanny.” NO – its just “play.” He was very happy to remove all googly eyes and tea towels and pop the teapots back in the big bag for next time. I am now itching to create a piece of theatre using several teapots, but need to chat to Rachel when she returns.”

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