Friday, May 6

A Tour of the Godly Play Room

This month many spare moments have been consumed with finishing our Godly Play room.  It helped to have the training we hosted mid-April as a goal.  As with any space, it will never truly be done.  We'll be adding stories, supporting materials and larger banners in the coming months.   But the space feels complete on another level, the hardest work is done and now comes the fun of tweaking and enriching the space.  I love the Natural light in this room and the collection of different natural woods (pecan chairs, birch tables, pine and birch-look shelves...)  Overall, I really love the space that many hands have worked together to create for our little ones.

Much of how the room is laid out (especially what is on each set of shelves) is diagrammed in the Godly Play books.  However, I will point some things out as I know that not everyone reading here has those books available.
This is the view when you enter through the first door.  We've been using this as our threshold.  Because the room was made from two smaller classrooms there is a second door, which I think  we will use next year as it enters more directly to the circle where we start our time together.
In front are the focal shelves.  Our Christ candle, Nativity and Risen Christ, and the Good Shepherd go across the top shelf.   On the shelves underneath are the baptism set, world communion set, circle of the church year and liturgical cloths.

On either side of the focal shelves are the Christmas and Easter shelves.  I love that these shelves highlight the importance of incarnation and redemption.  I'm dreaming of adding creation shelves as well to highlight that doctrine too.

One of the things I love most about Godly Play is the visual time line that the children see and work with each week.  On the top shelf of this set of six shelves are what are called the core stories.  Creation, the Ark, The Great Family (Abraham and Sarah), The Exodus, The 10 Best Ways, The Tabernacle and the Temple (on the second shelf down util we can get another set of shelves), and the Exile.

On the floor in the corner is the desert box, which is used to tell many of the Old testament stories.

Turn the corner and you have the New Testament stories.  The Gold boxes are parables.  The last set of shelves hold the red Pentecost set, one lonely Saint, and "the part not yet written" (a blank journal).  I'm so excited that there is an empty book that the children can write in and can physically see that they are part of God's great story.  I gives me chills to think about how we are gifting our children not only with the the great story God has written, but also with what I hope is a deep sense that they are part of this story.
The sheep skin is for a reading nook that I hope to make more inviting over time.  Our rugs are under the 'observer chair' and need a box or basket to live in.  Yes, still more to be done.  

This is the view of the other side of the room.  

These are our practical life shelves, which aren't typically in a Godly Play Classroom.  I have a feeling this space may be needed as our collection of stories grows, but for now, it is a nice collection of options for the children.  The basket of Jerusalem blocks have been an interesting addition and I'm still not sure how I feel about much of the work that is done with them.  Oh, it is fun work, but not always very purposefully responsive.   
These are our art shelves.  Each class has folders above the shelves where their work can be left from week to week.  The shelves hold watercolors, brushes, beeswax crayons, water, scissors, pencils, pens, prismacolor watercolor and colored pencils, glue, markers, oil pastels, Plasticine, play dough, cotton balls, fabric scraps, clipboards and clay.  Smocks are hung to the right of the shelves and drying shelves for clay and paintings are above the smocks.
These are our cleaning shelves.  Water, tissues, rags, cleaning spray (water and peppermint oil), and a watering can for our growing garden are currently present.  I have a running wish list for these shelves in my head.  The basket on the drying shelves above the cleaning shelves has things the adults might need to use or supervise children using in the classroom- stapler, wet wipes, permanent markers, and tape.
This is the hallway outside the classroom.  
We use the hallway space as storage for feast items, extra matzo, teacher books, extra supplies, seasonal items, etc.  It saves space and decreases clutter in the room.

And here is the room in action.  It always feels a bit lonely without the children. There is such a sense of joy sitting and being present while they go about their work.  
The yellow lantern is for our birthday song, which I'd love to share at some point.

1 comment:

Storyteller said...

I've been away from the blogosphere for a while, but how great to come along and see your Godly Play room! Thank you for sharing so many photos. I particularly like the way you've moved some storage out of the room into the corridor, to keep the room literally and visually free from clutter. Very good wishes to you!