Shelter from the Storm

   Painting by Asha     

The Storm

As mentioned in previous posts, the children in Studio Blue have expressed many thoughts about storms this year. We have heard about rain, puddles, thunder, lightning and rainbows. These weather phenomena have inspired much discussion, wonder and creativity from the children; a thread that has continued throughout the entire year in Blue.

Amelia and Will draw on paper

Amelia's drawing
Will first creates a rainbow with his pencil and clipboard...
...then at the table with crayons.

Later, Amelia describes her drawing


This is the ground. This is the rain. And this is the umbrella. I made a stick. 

Saige explores with eyedroppers…

It’s like they’re running a race like rain.

It’s like running a race. Like running a race!

And some dough.

And it's like rain. Because look!
And when I do this, the rain stops!

My hands are the clouds. Ready? Rain is going to fall!

It’s raining

Ian creates with felt. 

He speaks often of windshield wipers. Here, he has made a car using felt. 

That's a windshield wiper. Two windshield wipers. So it's a car.
It stopped raining.

The red felt turns them on and the yellow one turns them off. It makes noise. Mama’s does too, so her has to get new windshield wipers. Kelly got new windshield wipers too. Dad has wipers on the front but not on the back.


Another continuous thread we have observed this year is Protection.

How can I feel safe?

Over the course of our year together, children find ways to protect themselves – their bodies, their belongings (including how to share mom and/or dad on parent help days), their spots, their materials, their creations.

As we bond as a group and feel a stronger sense of community – in Blue and in the larger LNS world, how can we ensure that we are secure in our surroundings?

Some of us have figured out how to protect our new relationships and our budding friendships in the group. While some of us have expressed this explicitly, “…and he doesn’t want to play with you anymore because he’s my friend,” we mostly see the children express this thinking in their play; with fences, doors or gates with locks and passwords or secret codes, high chairs with seat belts and signs on the door. They include these important elements of their play using a variety of materials.

With blocks…

With felt…

Airplane surrounded by carefully laid out felt squares.
Amelia and Kyla use strips of felt and ribbon to keep safe in their high chair rocketship.

With paper and tape

Asha creates a sign. Her message communicated using pieces of colored tape.

She brings her sign over to the door leading to the playground. Using another piece of tape, she hangs her sign on the door.

What does your sign say?

No big boys allowed!

A Protect Machine

Kyla has communicated her thinking around how these two big ideas – weather and protection – may cross paths.


Kyla draws with markers at the table. She explains that above the blue tape she has drawn rain. Below the tape is grass. As she runs her finger across the line of blue tape, she says: This is a line. This is to protect from the rain so the rain doesn’t go onto the grass. 



Meanwhile, Ian is busy creating with string. He explains, It’s a fence. I made it. I attach it all the way up here. That’s the door. 


Kyla then lines up four blocks with her drawings in front of them. Adding more, she explains: It protects me and my pictures.

Sort of like the line protects the grass?


This protects you…

And my pictures.

Ian ties the red string onto the big basket. I need to tie it. (He goes inside of the fence)

Can I go into your fence, Ian, or should I stay outside?

Stay outside. And this is my bed. (climbing into the cabinet shelf)

Kyla is also making a sort of fence.

Kyla qualifies: I’m not making a fence. I’m making a protect machine. I’m making a protect machine.

The Protect Machine

A few days later, Kyla spends time creating on the felt board. 

She layers two white circles in the middle of the board. She adds two blue circles (for eyes) and one brown circle in the middle. There. That will be good.


She then puts the larger squares on each side of the circles. She places the red square on top and the blue rectangle on the bottom. She is still not finished. Kyla finds two yellow pieces that she uses to fill in the gaps on the top, and then does the same with pink shapes on the bottom. 

It's a snowman. Those things are keeping it safe.They protect the snowman from the rain. If it rains on the snowman, it will melt. 

As we approach the end of the school year, we bear witness to the learning and growth that has occurred over our many months together. This special group of children have come together around their shared interests, struggles and wonderings, all the while finding moments of camaraderie and connection with one another. We have each found ways of belonging in Studio Blue and the group has embraced an empathetic spirit. For now, we see the children becoming "shelters from the storm" for each other. As Will once expressed this sentiment so well, we are keeping our people safe.