A series of curated vignettes by

Kyla Easterday, MMFT.  Enjoy!

follow/friend thinkingland

Infograph-ing Play

Get ready for your heart to leap - a previous Infographic of the Day on Fast Company's website is called the Periodic Table of How Kids Play.  Created by Laura Richardson, a former Frog Designer, it looks at 11 play categories that she defines from her research of Play Literature (consulting work from thinkers like D.W. Winnicott). 

There are 11 play categories, from morphing to questing and from stretching to creating, and subsets of activities in each. "Play is our greatest natural resource in a creative economy," Richardson writes.  *Richards does have a few statements/interpretations that I do not fully agree with - but they do not diminish the benefit that the infographic is to play facilitation.

Richardson was part of the 2010 Frog Design Series - The Four Secrets of Playtime that Foster Creative Kids

The graphic will surely inspire you to think on how to stretch playful learning into another area of the day, the house, the yard, the grocery store, the car ride, etc.  Read it, Print it, Post it, PLAY IT!


Nashville Film Fest - Inspiration Gathering

I love the inspirational treat that attending the Nashville Film Festival is each year.  The fodder that I got to feast on this year was the Tuesday afternoon showing of A Film About Kids and Music. Sant Andreu Jazz Band. The documentary features the story of a music class in a Barcelona neighborhood that teaches children ages 6 to 18 to "speak the language" of jazz.  Through the interviews with the director, Joan Chamorro, great jazz musicians, and the children themselves...I heard descriptive words that denote a rich environment for developing talents, resilience, creativity, and risk taking.  NURTURE, LANGUAGE, PLAY, PRACTICE, LISTEN, TRY, ENJOY, RESEARCH, STORIES, LOVE -- speaking the language.  

I have been thinking about ways to explore music in ways with all of our senses.  I've been especially intrigued with the ritual of "cleaning and caring" for an instrument.  I want to create a learning exhibit that would celebrate the tactile and technical experience this excersice is.  One of the opening scenes of the Kids and Music film featured a six year old trumpet player cleaning her instrument at her home one evening.  This quiet, sensory filled experience was visually beautiful...NURTURING, ENJOYING, LOVING...a playful pursuit.

This film would be a great inspiration break - it's lovely to think how at any age, you can explore music with all of your senses...and the love of old Jazz is fantastic.


Christmas cards - creative literacy

I love that the need for a card for an occasion is an oppportunity to be creative and share a small artistic vignette with someone while celebrating something with them.

My most successful new creative attempt at handcrafted cards this year was my mass mailing of fabric covered postcards to announce a meeting I was having for the special needs ministry at our church.  I used a regular first class stamp instead of post card rate, but it went through the mail with no problems...and people attended the meeting.  I'll put a tutorial on how to make fabric covered cards on here another day.

I saw a blog post on childhood101 today about setting up a Christmas card writing station in your home. The station highlighted in the blog was a "hub for creativity and early literacy development" for a 5-6 year old, but the principles are applicable for any age...any home.

Included in the writing station:

Prompt cards for what to write - like to/from on the outside and Merry Christmas on the inside

Pre-folded, blank cardstock cards 

Christmas stickers

Sheets of Christmas paper

Pre-cut Christmas shapes

Christmas stamps and stamp pad

Pens, Pencils, Markers

Gluesticks, Tape

The blog author, Christie Burnett noted that she also "made name cards with a head shot of each of the children in her [daughter's] class as an aid for having a go at writing their names."  This idea is also great for other groups of people such as family members, friends, neighbors, people at church, community helpers, etc. 

Burnett also reminds us that "Christmas is such a wonderful time for promoting both creativity and literacy in authentic, naturally occurring ways."  I am excited to see how this simple reminder inspires us ALL to create and write with the tools around us...and the prompts that we want to communicate about this season.  To, From, Merry Christmas, Unto Us A Son is Given, Gloria in the Highest, Peace on Earth to All Men.


Collecting - Junk or Fodder?

So, it's spring, and I have the urge to start spring cleaning.  But, I'm a collector of "useful" things/junk...and sometimes that means taking a beat longer before letting the spring cleaning fervor take hold in the "reorganization" and "decluttering" of my gleaned bounty.  I need to have a thinkingland yard sale or something - so I can share my "useful" finds.  But, I have some half-baked ideas that aren't ready to turn loose of some of my fodder yet...that's not always the most helpful place to be though.  :o)

I've posted links before from the folkstreams website.  It's a documentary preserve of films examining American roots culture.  Today I found one on Collections - and it puts my "collectiong" a bit more in perspective.


Meet n' 3 : March-ing on

Yay! - I'm participating in the Meet n'3 again this Friday night.  I'm making some adjustments from last time and keeping some things the same.  So, a couple prices are cheaper, some new items offered too.  I will be curating my exhibit based on March:  In like a lion, out like a lamb ... a time of opposites.  This will be fun for me.  I'm not sure what kind of "free" activity I will do yet...come to the Nashville Farmer's Market this Friday between 6 and 9pm and see what I came up with.  Opposites I know I'm featuring so far...Himself/Herself, Lion/Lamb, Half full/Half Empty.


Metro Arts @ the Nashville Farmer's Mkt

Last month I participated in the Nashville Farmer's Market Meet n'3.  I had been inspired to make some new creations based on the art of American painter, Robert Henri.  Henri's two paintings, Himself and Herself were the beginning of my idea to start making and using embroidered handkerchiefs for a therapeutic and endearing gift to use for strengthening and celebrating relationships.  It was a fun way to celebrate the February, (Valentine's) Meet n' 3.  I also had an activity of making valentines along with selling a couple other of my current fiber arts.  I haven't posted the instructions on how to make the valentines yet...I'm going to include it in a newsletter soon.


A lot like Christmas

Thank you to everyone of you who helped me participate in my first craft fair this weekend.

To those of you who purchased...I am so honored that you chose one of my thinkingland products as something to be of use in your "playful" pursuits.  It was delightful to hear of sheep that would be going to houses to sit in kitchen windows, or a cupcake set that would be part of a new play kitchen set for Christmas. And now I have the privilege of finishing orders to be delivered in the next 10 days. 

To those of you who came to support me...I know you had to go out of your way, carry a lot, and take valuable time...but I treasured my time I got to spend with you in the context of a Christmas Craft fair.  I had fun with my friends...and made new ones.  It was a treat to get to know the family behind Frontier Family Farmhouse Soap Co.  They sell natural soaps, lotions, lip balms, salves and other wonderful natural creations.  If you still need items for gift baskets or your guestrooms...check out their Christmas Morning soap.

Thank you to the staff of First Church of the Nazarene, Nashville for putting on Christmas Fest 2011.

My etsy shop (this leads to) is working again...I will keep adding to it as I make new items.  Tonight I am finishing some needle felted ice cream that a friend ordered...it's turning out kinda neat.  I'll make an extra one and put it in the shop.