Guardian Richmond Creates A Magical Storytelling Space

child playing with shadows and light in storytelling space

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Guardian Richmond are always looking for ways to reinvent and freshen up their centre spaces. Their latest project, converting an empty cot room into a storytelling atelier, has been a huge success.

Education Leader, Kyleigh, led the project, and shares a glimpse behind the scenes of the transformation.

“The space started as a cot room that wasn’t being used to capacity, so we reflected as a team on how we could better utilise our spaces. It was from that reflection that we landed on creating ateliers,” explains Kyleigh.

“We originally transformed the space into an art atelier that had various uses for the children, and after some experimentation we realised that there could be a more effective way to use the space.”

After considering the interests and engagement of each age group, the Educators found a common thread: stories. 

“We realised that it would be a great opportunity for the children to explore the importance of oral storytelling in Aboriginal culture, as well as learn how to better care for the books,” says Kyleigh.

“The older children have taken an interest in oral storytelling, and still request for me to tell them the story of Abiyoyo or Pete the Cat whenever I visit their room.”

“They’ve also started telling their own stories, and share tales of how they got magical powers or going to the beach.”

The Educators then spoke to Quality and Compliance Officer, Kristy Young, who works in collaboration with the centre on a variety of projects, and it was decided to turn the space into a storytelling atelier.

Once the ordered books and puppets arrived, Kyleigh gathered materials such as pillows, lights, fabric, chairs and tables from around the centre to occupy the space, and considered how best to design the storytelling atelier.

“I used this time to reflect on previous projects I’ve worked on and remembered how much children enjoy using shadow screens as a way of telling stories,” shares Kyleigh.

“After building a shadow screen for the space, I decided to create to bring the book, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, to life with a dedicated play area.”

play space for We're Going on a Bear Hunt

Since its opening, Educators have been bringing small groups of children to explore, play and tell stories in the atelier. They’ve also enjoyed sharing their thoughts with the team on how the space can changed or added to.

“We’re still in the early days of utilising the space, but I look forward to gathering favourite books and oral stories from our families,” says Kyleigh.

“I would love to get recordings of families, children or other people in community telling stories that we can play in the room. It’d also be wonderful to transcribe the children’s stories for them to illustrate and re-tell. Maybe we’ll even through a publishing party!”

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