This diploma paper is a research of how an inspiring environment affects creative drama in kindergarten, a study about how theatre activity influences relationships and problem solving in a group, and how it might help a child express his or her creative ideas.
The theoretical part is divided into two chapters about the passage from symbolic play to theatre, and an inspiring environment for theatre activity in kindergarten. The first chapter sums up the meaning of child play, underlining symbolic play, while later parts focus on art activity in kindergarten and the magical power of a puppet and creative drama. The second chapter discusses the role of a kindergarten teacher in creative theatre activity, the importance of cooperation with parents and environment, and the most suitable way of creating a theatre performance with children in kindergarten.
In the diary in the empirical part, activities of the project called Let’s Play Theatre are described, which I carried out in the Simon Jenko kindergarten in Kranj with a group of children aged from 3 to 6 called Gumbi (Buttons). The group had been ‘playing’ theatre for six weeks. By organizing several activities in the playroom and cooperating with the environment I managed to create an inspiring environment which the children loved so much that they created a theatre play and performed for their parents. The project set in motion many things: we were paid a visit by professional actors, we saw the inside of the Prešeren Theatre Kranj, created theatre spots in the playroom, made puppets and improvised puppet shows, watched Žogica nogica (Speckles the Ball) performed by schoolchildren, we were paid a visit by aunt Rozi, and were finally surprised by a Gnome (a marionette) which made such a good impression that the children were the initiators of a new show based on the Gnome.
The project proves that an inspiring environment definitely is a cause for a creative atmosphere and good relationships within a group. A gave the children a chance to express themselves – each in their own way. And this was what began to join and connect us.