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Too arty?

(18 Posts)
Snoreborewhoreee Wed 18-Jan-17 18:27:54

My son, 5, the last week or so has decided to enter a creative phase, constantly making stuff, gluing, sticking, drawing, cutting etc he's never been the type to do this mainly because he's always been too busy running around playing to sit still long enough so I'm enjoying seeing this side of him and his imagination..
Anyway he came out today with several things , rocket, giant scarecrow and a statue all of which he had made out of paper sellotaped together and drawn on, his teacher helped bring them out and then said to me "i know this is just a phase he is going through and his imagination is great but we can't really let him use this much paper tomorrow.. Maybe you could talk to him about using the Lego to build with or get some cereal boxes at home"
I didn't really say much at the time and I get along with this teacher quite well so didn't really want to bring up anything if it's just me being unreasonable but surely this is a phase they should encourage? I get he can build stuff with Lego as a creative outlet but he is also doing writing and bettering his motor skills like with scissors and such the other way?

Just looking for opinions, totally prepared to be told I'm being ridiculous, thanks smile

Playdoughinthecarpet Wed 18-Jan-17 18:32:37

Can you take a box of recycled stuff (cereal boxes, washing up liquid bottles etc) into school for crafts and tell the teacher you'd like to encourage this phase wink

SparklyLeprechaun Wed 18-Jan-17 18:34:36

So basically she's told you they can't afford to provide the materials for his crafting. That's fine, why don't you take a lot of paper in for him?

Sniv Wed 18-Jan-17 19:05:47

I don't think she's saying he's 'too arty', just that he's using more stuff than they can provide. They only have so much in the way of resources to share between all the kids.

splendidglenda Wed 18-Jan-17 19:09:50

Just send extra things in. It's true that they're on a tight budget.

pipsqueak25 Wed 18-Jan-17 19:18:34

they do have tight budgets but rather than discouraging perhaps he could have an art box at home to do this stuff, it sounds brilliant ,

Strongmummy Wed 18-Jan-17 19:21:27

She's concerned about her budget. Bring in your own paper

SpiritedLondon Wed 18-Jan-17 19:25:51

My DD's school periodically request donations of cardboard etc for crafting and tend to get loads. Perhaps you could suggest a similar initiative at your school.... my dd has come home with a collage on a carpet sample... no idea who would have given that but all creativity is to be encouraged I think ( helps in problem solving across the board)

Snoreborewhoreee Wed 18-Jan-17 19:31:04

Thanks for the advice, I will ask her about this, he does at a lot at home too, so maybe I'll ask about being able to send in stuff for the whole class 😃 I understand the budget and I know she wasn't trying to be off about it, just wasn't sure how to go about both situations

MrsPMT Wed 18-Jan-17 19:37:18

Think she's passing the buck a bit. Surely it is up to the teacher or TA, if they have one, to supervise and encourage doing different things? Aren't they in charge in the class? Strange.

bumsexatthebingo Wed 18-Jan-17 19:55:02

Agree with the idea of sending things in but really they should be asking all parents to bring things in old packets and cartons regularly for environmental reasons. Was the paper he used 'clean' or are they recycling used paper? Most schools have tons of used paper by the photocopier which can be recycled although it is nice for kids to have access to new materials as well. I would consider providing kids materials for kids to make things in reception part of essential school expenses. It's not like he was just wasting the paper screwing it up or scribbling or ripping loads or something - he was actually making things. How demotivating for him to have to hear that what he's worked hard on is just considered to be a waste of paper sad

Lemon12345 Wed 18-Jan-17 21:04:30

I didn't see anyone calling it a waste of paper. Fine to tell a child that they can't use lots of something because there is only so much to go around.

As others have said school is rather limited on finances so one child making models like this, whilst lovely, is using up a lot of paper which the school needs to replace or cut back on with the other kids.

I'd talk to him about it, tell him everyone loves his models but he can't use so much paper all the time. You could even tell him (if you plan on doing so) that you will talk to his teacher about collecting some things that he could take in to school to make his models with and the other children can join in too. Ask family and friends that you see often to collect up used (but clean) newspaper, boxes etc. Many schools don't allow toilet roll tubes but kitchen roll is okay, so worth asking and checking it's okay with teacher first.

bumsexatthebingo Wed 18-Jan-17 21:19:29

It hasn't been called that but the message is loud and clear that his models weren't worth the use of the paper. In the eyfs children should be able to spend the majority of their time doing activities of their choosing and aside from deliberate wasting of resources there should be enough to meet the needs of the children. It will be the op's son doing a lot of craft this week and another child another week. All they need to do is put a note on the door to ask for scrap paper, cereal packets, kitchen rolls, washed out yoghurt pots etc and ime people are glad to free up space in their recycling! No cost to the school and a good lesson about reusing materials as well.

melj1213 Wed 18-Jan-17 22:08:26

Schools really have strict budgets, and in quite a few of the schools I taught in abroad, it was fairly standard for a request to be sent home at the start of term for parents to send in any craft materials they had spare, or even classroom bits (eg boxes of tissues and wet wipes were always especially welcomed when I taught in lower primary with the constant snotty noses and sticky fingers!) to help the teacher out.

I used to encourage my students to make things and be arty and creative, but if it was going to require significant expense to me then I'd put out a call to parents too. I taught English as a Second Language and so we did a lot of crafty projects (making a collage of a house from magazines for the "home" module; creating wild animal posters for the animals module; drawing and describing a monster as part of the "Body parts" module; Illustrating a poem for Poetry Week etc) but we also had to be really careful with materials or the kids would go crazy and we'd have nothing left for the rest of the term.

So if little Marie wants to use half a dozen pieces of paper to draw a picture for everyone in the family a couple of times a week, it's not too bad but if little Jimmy is using quarter of a packet of printer paper and half a roll of sticky tape every day for a week, that's a lot of resources ultimately being commandeered by just one child. Even more so when the school has only allocated the teacher 10 packets of printer paper to get them through a whole term (and that paper had to cover any photocopying/worksheet printing/class notices/paperwork/notes home etcetc as well as for general use in the classroom). Also, and I'm not saying your child did this OP, but even though we had a recycling box for "used, but still good for notes/project work/general drawings paper" kids would still go straight for the fresh, new paper unless someone was watching them to remind them to use the recycled sheets first.

If we're only a couple of weeks into the term and a kid is using up disproportionate amounts of paper, then I'd also have been having a quiet word with the parent as a short term fix, and then sending out a note to ask all the parents with any spare craft materials to send them in with their children.

StripeyCover Wed 18-Jan-17 22:54:01

Goodness! Yes, I'd offer to bring in some paper and cardboard and stuff. It does sound bizarre though, the teacher saying this to you. Why is it your job to say this to your son? Its up to the teacher to control the classroom.

melj1213 Wed 18-Jan-17 23:22:06

Why is it your job to say this to your son? Its up to the teacher to control the classroom.

Because perhaps the teacher didn't want to have to tell a child they couldn't do an activity, then have them go home and tell their parents that they weren't allowed to do it and then have the parents come in and demand to know why their little darling was banned from an activity they adore?

Mentioning it to the parent, doesn't mean that they have no intention to also address it in the classroom, but if they tell the parent their child is using disproportionate amounts of resources then the parent is aware that it is an issue and can support the teacher by encouraging their child to do less resource-heavy activities whilst in class, so it is framed as a positive of "Oh wow you can do X at school and paper heavy crafts at home!" rather than just being framed as "You can't do crafts any more"

bumsexatthebingo Wed 18-Jan-17 23:30:47

It could have been phrased a lot better. The teacher could have said that that they are keen to encourage the op's son and did she have any craft stuff she could bring in.
Or what about problem solving with the child? Saying that the stuff he's making is great but they're running low on paper and need to save some for the rest of the class - what could they do? He may well have come up with an idea of his own such as using the reusable construction materials.
I can just imagine him coming out all enthusiastic with his creations then having to hear 'BUT we can't let him use all this paper again'.
Reminds me of the quote (can't remember who it was) about all children being keen and creative until school crushes it out of them.

bookwormnerd Thu 19-Jan-17 09:24:55

They should be just doing collections for junk modeling. When i was teaching recpetion we just asked parents if they could donate any boxes, containers, newspapers, toilet roll tubes etc for junk modeling. Parents were happy to. Gosh just going through my own recycling we had plenty. We also had scrap paper available for the kids (old worksheets etc...)

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