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On-Site Staff / Staff Leadership and Management

Feel Like a Child: How to Take Time for Ourselves

feel like a child

I walk into a room and all I see is a large curtain.

All I hear are muffled giggles emitting from behind the curtain. A head pops out and as I stand back, I realize this large curtain is actually a tablecloth covering a GIANT dining room table.

feel like a child

Image courtesy of the New Children’s Museum

I crawl under the curtain and immediately feel like a child. Children are lounging on soft pillows and running around laughing. On the walls are images projected of children around the world feeding themselves. It is amazing to see the kids sitting with me so fascinated by the images, naming the foods they see, and imitating the children on screen.

I am at the New Children’s Museum of San Diego in the interactive exhibit “Dinner TV,” created by Joe Yorty and John Brady. The Museum’s entire current theme is FEAST: “Feast allows visitors of all ages to sink their teeth into unique, highly engaging, multi-sensory experiences and examines our relationship to food and eating in inventive and unexpected ways.”

feel like a child

Image courtesy of the New Children’s Museum

Yet this isn’t your typical MyPlate experience.

Children and adults are learning and using food, art and cooking utensils to create and learn about nutrition and the origins of food in an indoor/outdoor experience.

As I head outside I see kids painting an old tractor, which is used to teach about the harvesting of food. The young artists are using our Colorations Washable Tempera paint.

The paint will dry by day’s end, and a new color will be used the next day. As the sun, weather and time takes its toll, chunks of paint fall off onto the ground creating a unique STEM experience.

feel like a child-tractor

Image courtesy of The Museum Scout

I leave the New Children’s Museum giddy, thinking of how to make my own art workshops better and feeling like a child.

Today I am at the ASCD conference in downtown LA, where Sir Ken Robinson is a keynote speaker.

I cannot wait to see him speak this afternoon, and I am reminded of the first time I heard him speak in a TED talk.

In a September 2013 article in Fast Company, an interview by Chuck Salter with Sir Ken Robinson produced the following comment that really struck me:

It’s important to note, especially for parents, that there just isn’t a straight line between what you do at school and what you go on to do. I argue in my new book it’s like being on the ocean. You keep correcting your course according to things that happen to you.

I absolutely love this idea of living our lives like we are on the ocean.

Although I started with a degree in fine art, I found myself building trails, interpreting for migrant wellness exams, selling credit card processing, then back to working with educators and hosting art workshops. What a journey life is!

Recently I held a workshop for about 30 Site Directors. It was a “Renew Your Passion” workshop in which we spent 90 minutes creating our own inspirational tambourine.

feel like a child-create

I didn’t even play music; the room was just softly filled with the sounds of chatter and humming as these women, who have dedicated their entire lives to young minds and hearts, took time for themselves.

feel like a child-create

At the end we shared how the experience made us feel, and how we can incorporate time for creativity and self-renewal into our lives everyday. There were laughs and tears as we all thought about the lack of time for creativity we allow in our adult lives.

In order to be the best after school educators we can, we need to take time for ourselves; time to breath, relax, play, create and feel like a child.

For breakfast I had strawberry greek yogurt and toast.

This entry is written by guest blogger, Lera Main.  Lera is an Account Manager for Discount School Supply.

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