This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
I. INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................................... 6 YAKACIK DOGA SCHOOL - TURKEY ...................................................................................................... 7 KINDERGARTEN ”SLUNCHICE” - BULGARIA ......................................................................................... 8 KINDERGARTEN DJECJI SVIJET - CROATIA............................................................................................ 9 KINDERGARTEN SAULITE - LATVIA..................................................................................................... 10 KVERNALAND KINDERGARTEN - NORWAY ........................................................................................ 11 KINDERGARTEN METLIKA - SLOVENIA ............................................................................................... 12 II. ACTIVITIES.......................................................................................................................................... 13 QUESTIONNAIRE ................................................................................................................................ 14 TOYS MUSEUM .................................................................................................................................. 15 MULTICULTURAL MUSEUM ............................................................................................................... 17 LOGO COMPETITION ......................................................................................................................... 18 SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY..................................................................................................................... 19 TOYS CLUB ......................................................................................................................................... 22 CHRISTMAS BOX ................................................................................................................................ 24 TINY HANDS ATELIER ......................................................................................................................... 26 PARENTS WORKSHOPS ...................................................................................................................... 28 TRADITIONAL TOYS ............................................................................................................................ 35 III. TRANSNATIONAL MEETINGS ............................................................................................................ 38 I. ISTANBUL, TURKEY ......................................................................................................................... 39 II. VARAZDIN, CROATIA ...................................................................................................................... 45 III. DOBRICH, BULGARIA .................................................................................................................... 52 IV. KVERNALAND, NORWAY .............................................................................................................. 59 V. LIEPAJA, LATVIA ............................................................................................................................. 66 VI. METIKA, SLOVENIA ....................................................................................................................... 73 VII. ISTANBUL, TURKEY ...................................................................................................................... 77 VALORIZATION AND DISEMINATION ..................................................................................................... 84
IV. OPINIONS AND IMPRESSIONS .......................................................................................................... 95
Toys play a huge role for children in all their life aspects (cognitive & social, psychomotor domains). All over the world even they donâ€™t speak the â€˜common languageâ€™, the children use the toys as a tool to create their own language and social world to explore the life. So if the toys are important for their developmental stage do we really know how to choose right toys to improve their learning? Since children learn about the world by playing, they need toys that encourage them to imagine and explore, not the latest, technological games and toys, killing their creativity. The target group of the project is preschool learners from 3 to 6 since they learn best through games and toys. In addition to this, they enable the learners to stimulate their five senses improve their psychomotor skills prompt their social learning, multicultural, language competences. The two-year school project involved 6 partners to discover the similarities and compare the differences of their cultures through investigating and making reusable of the each partner's traditional toys from past to present.
In this book we will show all of our activities and mobilities during these two years. Each partner wrote article about themselves and the mobilities they hosted. Articles about activities were written by partner who was responsible for specifying the details of the activity.
YAKACIK DOGA SCHOOL - TURKEY
Yakacik Doga School has a concept which is based on philosophy which recognizes each student as an individual that must have an international vision. Also we have an innovatory educational system which includes unlimited learning besides ordinary classes and we utilize nature in our educational system. Yakacik Doga Pre-School was established in the year 2008. There are over 20 pre-primary schools of Doga in Turkey. In the vicinity where our school is situated there is no school that can match up with us in size, capacity, numberor in materials etc. Our school is located in the Asian side of Istanbul. There are over 170 pupils presently in the Kindergarten section, and there are also 3 different groups. There is 1 Headmistress, 9 classroom teachers, 3 English teachers and 6 others branch teachers that teach Art, Music, Chess, Ecology and Physical Education. We are giving all these to our pupils in other to develop them mentally, socially and physically. Also we take our pupils for a horse riding classes as well. Until now we have not applied for a Comenius project or participated with any partner under the auspices of Comenius LLP programme. We believe that we have all it takes to coordinate this project. A closer look into our web site would convince anyone that we are more than ready to host any participating partners.
KINDERGARTEN ”SLUNCHICE” - BULGARIA
Kindergarten ”Slunchice” is a municipality’s institution who is located in central part in Dobrich town. In kindergarten
educate and train 170
children on age from 3 to 7 years old who are separate in 6 groups: a first group “ Winnie the Pooh”/ 3-4 years old/, a first group “ Mickey Mouse”/ 3-4 years old/, a second group “ Bee” /45 years old/, a third group “ Smile” / 5-6 years old/, a forth group “ ” /6-7 years old/, a forth group “ Star”, a forth group “ Ladybug”/6-7 years old/. In some of them have children with special educational needs. The children educate on approved program of Ministry of Education the following educational domains: Bulgarian language, Maths, Social world, Natural world, Art, Sports, Designand Technology,
monitored in state educational criteria. Our children learn additional activity like modern ballet, Bulgarian folk dances, KindyROO, Art, Creed, Russian and English language. The pedagogical team consists of 12 highly qualified teachers, six assistant educators, one nurse, one accountant, two cooks and one stoker. Kindergarten works in municipal, national and international projects through which children develop in different areas: sports
historical traditions and values and understanding of different cultures.
KINDERGARTEN DJECJI SVIJET - CROATIA Kindergarten Dječji svijet was established in the year 1995. as private institution. We started our work with 17 children, 3 teachers and 1 pedagogue. Today our kindergarten has 2 branches in the rural environment (Petrijanec and Beretinec) and one location in town of Varaždin. Everyday 172 children from 1-6 years of age attend our kindergarten. Today we have 16 teachers, 1 person on vocational training, a pedagogue and 10 employees on food preparing, room maintaining and administrative works. Most of all we are in fond of working with children and their parents. Our kindergarten is attended by children of different social and economical abilities but all of them have same rights in the programme. It is provided by financial resources which our local government is giving for everychild. Part of resources is paid by parents. Our kindergartens programme is well known for developing children's creativity, for everyday learning of English language, for art methods which our teachers are using in their work, researching and play which we organize and also for activities and projects of democratic education. One of our features is everyday play outdoors, on playgrounds and in parks of our town - no matter of weather conditions. That kind of programme we have arranged with parents so children can naturally live and learn about life. We also hold museum workshops on regular basis. Beside that we are proud to include children with special needs in to our regular programme. We call our kindergarten „Dječji svijet“ (children’s world) because: …we want to enter their „children’s world“ together with them and live humane in „adult world“ as much as possible …we want to keep and develop (not to destroy and banish) children’s way of thinking, fantasizing and feeling in „adult world“ …we want to keep developing children’s truthful approach, love and their creativity within all aspects of life (learning, communicating, company) …we believe that we can learn much from the children and rediscover „children’s world“ within ourselves so we could be more creative and successful.
KINDERGARTEN SAULITE - LATVIA
SAULITE has been a public preschool educational institution in Latvia, Liepaja since 1965. A major reconstruction was done in 2009. There are 18 kindergarten groups.
The institution is located in an urban area. The working time of the pre - school is from 7.00 till 19.00. There are 368 pupils at the age of 1,5 7 . Teachers are working in morning and afternoon shifts. All pedagogical staff (47 people) have got higher pedagogical education. There are 18 teacher assistants, 1 nurse, 1 food service specialist, 4 cooks and 8 other employees. The kindergarten has a large yard, outdoor sports place with baskets for basketball. There are swings, sandboxes and slides on the playgrounds. Furthermore, there is the green area which is suitable for children to do some outdoor, relaxing and nature related activities. The school serves 3 meals everyday including breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack. The menu is prepared according to the calorie needs of the children for their adequate nourishment and growth. There are many traditions which are created here in the kindergarten. Kids and parents take part in various activities, such as, fairs, afternoon sports exercises, musical performances, etc. Every month during the academic year we have visitors, for example, artistic performances or kids visiting local museums, theatre and symphonic orchestra concerts.
KVERNALAND KINDERGARTEN - NORWAY Kvernaland kindergarten is located in a village in Time municipality. We have 127 children, 34 of them are under 3 years old. We have 31 teachers and assistants who work in our kindergarten. We also have a chef and cleaning staff and a janitor. Kvernaland kindergarten is a newly built kindergarten. We started in a temporary building in 2009, and moved in to a brand new one in 2011. We who work in Kvernaland kindergarten has participated in the planning of the building from the start. In the planning, we have had a strong focus on the age group 0-3, also called Toddlers. We have focused on the large play items, sheltered areas, large areas of movement and good sound attenuation. We work a lot with the adults' attitudes towards children's play to understand the significance of toddlers own play signals. We see that children's play has an intrinsic value. We have more people with expertise in this, and we have a good physical environment that reflects this thinking. Pedagogics in the Norwegian kindergarten are built on the importance of play. The playâ€™s own value is the essence, play is not a tool for determine learning objectives. Play is as an arena for the development of language, social competency and education. We also value a good relationship and cooperation with the parents in our kindergarten. Together with them, we can give the children the confidence, the care and the opportunity they need to learn and develop in a best way possible. We also believe that if the parents are reassured and confident that their children have a good day, this confidence will reflect on to their children. Giving the children the opportunity and ability to use their energy on exploration and learning. We meet, teach and play with our children with warmth: Adults Who are genuine and 100% present Everyone should be seen, met and Appreciated Respect for each other CoMmitted, reliable and caring adults WiTH humour and joy
KINDERGARTEN METLIKA - SLOVENIA Slovenia has established an integrated approach to pre-school education, combining education, play and care in pre-school institutions. Comprehensive care for preschool children involves meals, rest and sleep, as well as various educational programs. Preschool education is not compulsory; it admits children from 11 months to 6 years of age or to the age when they enter primary schooling. Kindergarten Metlika is a public multicultural pre-school institution. The aim of kindergarten is to support the parents in bringing up the child, to improve the quality of family life and to create good conditions for the development of the child's physical and intellectual abilities. Operating times are 5 days a week throughout the year from 5.30 am to 4 pm. The day-program includes education, childcare and meals. In pre-school institution activities, we include physical exercise, language, art, society, nature, mathematics. Interdisciplinary activities like ethics, health care, safety, traffic education are incorporated into all those fields. Our kindergarten is founded and partly financed by local communities. Itâ€™s also financed from parents' contributions (from 0 to 77 %, depending on their income) and from donations. We believed that early childhood education is very important for Roma children, too. We enable Roma children to go to kindergarten, we inform Roma parents on importance of preschool and we enable Roma assistant that helps with the language, emotional and cultural barrier. We offer multicultural awareness for all children. We offer many fun activities for free. Activities are organized in coeducational groups. They are planned thematically but unplanned play is also important. We offer a lot of sport activities, nature activities, arts, crafts, games, team related projectsâ€Ś We regular take the children to visit museum, gallery, exhibitionsâ€Ś We have a well-equipped gym and we obtain the title of the most gym kindergarten in Slovenia. In a large library, we provide a slightly more formal program to teach children preliteracy skills. The kindergarten has a large nature-oriented garden. A big garden provides plenty of opportunities for outdoor play. We are members of the Eco schools.
Kids are full of boundless curiosity and what they need is toy that will help them explore their senses or the world around them. What we think are simple things are amazing discoveries to a child. Therefore, toys play a huge role in all their life aspects (cognitive & social, psychomotor domains). All over the world even they don’t speak the ‘common languages’, the children use the toys as a tool to create their own language and social world to explore the life. That is why, during this two years, we had many activities to encourage children’s creativity, to teach them about other cultures and to develop their cognitive and social skills. At the beginningof the project we divided responsibility of planning the activity details among the partners: Turkey – Questionnaire, Toys Museum, Multicultural (virtual) museum Bulgaria - Logo competition, Tiny Hands Atelier 1st workshop, Parents workshop One day as a child, Traditional Toys Croatia - Social responsibility, Toys Club, Christmas box 2013 Latvia - Christmas box 2014 Norway - Parents workshop Impact of toys on future career Slovenia - Tiny Hands Atelier 2nd workshop, In this chapter we will show an overview of all our activities. Main text for each activity was written by the partner who was responsible for specifying the details of the activity, while other partners added photos and short descriptions of the activity in their kindergarten.
QUESTIONNAIRE We carried out a common questionnaire to define the awareness of the parents & teachers related to the toys. The survey within the project coordinated by Turkey Yakacık Doğa Kindergarten which is called “Comenius-The Language of the Toys” was made by the participation of Turkey, Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Norway and Latvia.
% 43 Latvia (Pirmsskolas Izglītības Iestāde SAULĪTE,) % 18 Bulgaria (Celodnevna Detska Gradina №10 "Slunchice",) % 12 Croatia (Dječji Vrtić Dječji Svijet) 12% Slovenia Otroški Vrtec Metlika %7 Norwa yKvernaland Barnehagel. % 8 Turkey Ozel yakacık Doga Kındergarten
*** The 84% of the people who took the survey is female and 16% was male. We tried to find answers to the some of the following questions: “How often do you buy a child a toy?” “Which toys do you prefer to play with when you spend time with your child?” “What toy do you find very important for your child?” “In what ways differ your child’s toys from your own childhood?” This questionnaire was applied to the parents and teachers in each country to understand the awareness of the parents in terms of the toys’ impact on the children. The results of the questionnaire were announced on E-twinning/ Twinspace and discussed during the meeting in Bulgaria in May 2014.The most significant acquisition of applying the questionnaire to the parents was to take their attention and raise their awareness about choosing toys and the importance of toys in children’s academic and social development. This enhanced interaction with colleagues from other countries, too. 14
TOYS MUSEUM Turkey In our school we decorated one of our classrooms as a project toy museum. With the help of our parents, students and other teachers we gathered different types of toys together. Since we disseminated the process of project successfully, we did not have any difficulties in collecting the toys. Visiting the other toy museums in our partner countries inspired and honored us about the differences and similarities among the countries and cultures. We categorized the toys according to their recoveries and functions; such as coordination, emotional and social development and creativity skills. Seeing those categorized toys according to their functions raises the awareness of our parents, teachers and students. We spent almost two months to collect those as a team with the parents. We also put the photos of the collected toys in the museum on the digital platform and saved them.
Latvia - To get as many exhibit-toys as possible for this museum, we invited the pupils’ parents to photograph their old, sweet toys. This is how we got more than 200 toys with their historical descriptions for our museum. We grouped them in 17 subgroups. Our museum is virtual and is avaliable at our institution’s website: www.lpiisaulite.lv
Slovenia - When we speak about game, we also speak about toy. The toy represent base of game. Through history, toys were very different. We could observe those differences in Toy museum, which we organize in one of our playrooms. Museum was divided in 3 units: exhibition of old toys, toys made from scrap materials (paper) and natural materials (clay) and exhibition of didactic toys made in kindergarten. We invited parents, employees and friends to cooperate in collecting of old toys. We were able to collect fair number of different toys, which used to be part of children daily routine. Some of them were even 50 years old. These toys were made from different materials, from cloth, wood, rubber, clay, plastics… And so our museum was decorated by dolls, teddy bears, clown dolls, mini railroads, sledges, board games, calculator and piano. Museum had a lot of visitors. In morning time, most of visitors were kindergarten groups under leadership of teachers. Children could observe their work and products on exhibition and comment what they created, how long did they need, how they gain an ideas. They also had a unique opportunity to compare old toys with those, which they made on one side, and with handmade toys on another side. Parents could visit museum in time of children departure from kindergarten and on JURJEVO event, which was organized in this time. Outside visitors also joined us. After visit, they returned in to their childhood, relive it and compare it with present. All of them have equal opinion that they are happy to be able cooperate at formation of Toy museum.
MULTICULTURAL MUSEUM In Turkey we organized an intercultural workshop activity in which we had the chance to see the similarities and differences among each partner countries. In this workshop we demonstrated the toys and games of Turkey and our partners. In the third meeting we implemented the multicultural workshop by the teachers from the partner countries in each room. We also defined and planned the multicultural Museum and allocated the tasks among the partners. Moreover all the partners submitted their traditional toys and their brief stories in the meeting and Turkey gathered the data and traditional toys to keep and exhibit in the multicultural museum. During the Parents Weekend event our parents told and shared their feelings and experiences explaining the impact of toys on academic & professional career. Besides our schoolâ€™s psychological counselor gave some briefings about the subject.
In the month of October 2013 we held a competition for drawing the logo in all partner countries in project. The children drew on topic â€œMy favorite toyâ€?. On instruction of the Coordinator all partner presented in Varazdin, Croatia 2 drawings of its own kindergarten. After voting, the most votes received drawing Petya Dimitrova 6 years old from Bulgaria.
Making of the winning drawing
Drawing presented in Varazdin
SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY According to project, assignment was to find social component in making of toys, in way of making them and donating them. Croatian team was responsible for planning the activity. Due to realization, we determined ethic and moral purpose of social component. As ethical purpose (what is being done) we determined making of toys, which will be made by children and adults and then donated. As moral purpose (why should we do it) we determined expansion of togetherness and bonding between children and adults while making the toys. Also, children will develop sensitivity for vulnerable members of the community. Turkey In Turkey we created a â€œWish Treeâ€? with the help of Municipality and our parents. The municipality helped our school to find children who are in need and to collect their wishes for New Year. Our parents and students took part in charity organization to make the wishes come true.
Bulgaria In connection with project social responsibility kindergarten "Sunshine" is associated with the National Bulgarian Red Cross. We visited Kindergarten "Hope" to the "Helping Hand", "Social Support Centre" and two distress kindergartens in the town. Activities that we made were related to different holidays: Baba Marta, Easter, and World Day forTolerance.
Croatia We decided that we will combine World Book and Copyright Day with our activity so children made picture books with their own stories that were told during our project from January till April. After that all of the books were donated to Department of Pediatrics at General Hospital Varazdin where our project coordinator, Tea Pirker, spent time with hospitalized children and read them books. Through this activity children gain experience how anyone of us can find himself in situation in which we could need someone elseâ€™s help and time spent together. Social Responsibility activity was unexpectedly expanded. Because of floods in Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia, children, parents and teachers of kindergarten Djecji svijet were actively gathering necessary accessories and clothing. In organization of kindergarten Djecji svijet, this gathered materials were forwarded to Red Cross and by them to flooded areas. Children gained experience how important is to help the ones who need it. As the planned activity of the project changed our everyday sensitivity for others, after the first visit to the children's department of the hospital in Varazdin, we engaged with children and parents from kindergarten to collect aid for flooded area Gunja. A group of mothers from Gunja with their children, stayed in Varazdin for five days during which we hosted them in our kindergarten. Currently we are involved together with the children and parents from our kindergarten in the action of collecting caps for the purposes of the Association of
lymphoma (http://www.azo.hr/HumanitarnaAkcijaP rikupljanja). In all these activities are involved all children, parents and staff of our kindergarten. 20
Latvia In April all 18 groups of our kindergarten have lived on Comenius constellationâ€™s planet Toys. Every group drew a lot of toy pictures or toy material and decorated group according to that. During April we are travelling to the Toysâ€™ planet and visiting each other, having fun, studying and enjoying project activities. At the end of April teachers created Easter event for 300 kindergarten children and invited kids from an orphanage, too. Kindergarten children had prepared presents for our guests. We all relaxed and had a good time! Norway We decided to give toys to a local kindergarten associated to a nearby Asylum reception. Here the children do not have many toys to play with. Some of the children from our Kindergarten went to deliver the toys and spend the day together with them.
Slovenia In kindergarten we made a toy called Memory and donated it to the local pediatrician. Together with children and parents, we collected toys and donated them to the local Red Cross organization. We made teddy bears with children andparents in kindergarten. We donated teddy bears to the Society of Friends.
Croatian team was responsible for defining the Toys Club activities. Goal of Toys Club was achievement of common ideas, based on common interest of children: development of tolerance and togetherness, development of new knowledge and experiences and also development of social responsibility. Two main activities were exchanging of toys which children brought from home and making the toys. The point of making toys was not the final result (the toy itself), but the sense of shared activities, in the process itself. Through making of toys children got a chance to meet tradition of their hometown. Also, they were able to express themselves creatively, to explore and to show creativity in finding unusual solutions. By working with unshaped material and natural materials, children develop environmental awareness. Additionally, production of toys positively affects the child's self image.
Turkey With establishing the toy clubs in each country, the partners created their special toys boxes to exchange as a Christmas gift. While taking part in preparation of the special toy box activity we observed that our students were encouraged self- esteem and enhanced their social and collaborative skills. In addition to this activity, the toys that our students made were produced and created in the Tiny Hands Ateliers with clay, wood, yawn and wasted materials. We hosted these events once in a month with the attendance of parents and students.
Bulgaria In January – 2014 in each group of kindergarten "Sunshine" was created "Toy club”. Once a week the club members are gathered and they made toys of different materials: toys from toys "Origami papiermâché ", toys of yarn, textile, thread, toys made of cardboard and paper and more. One of the activities at the club was an exchange of toys between children. The aim was children to learn to share their favorite toy with other children 22
Croatia Photo shows one of the activities with toys brought from home. Children told each other stories about their memories with the toy in our center for light and shadows which increased the imagination of storytelling.
Latvia Our TOY CLUBâ€™s goals are â€“ to have fun together, spend a good time and study with fun!
Norway In our kindergarten, we had toys club once a week. The children brought their own toys, one toy to each toys club. Our experience is that the children were deliberate about the sharing of toys. We saw that their sharing of toys helped establish relations
Slovenia In one group started project Toy club. Children brought from home their different toys. Finally, they decided that they want to collected horses from different ages, shapes and materials. We invited parents in project. Some of them they made horses with children at home. One of the parents from the group made a wooden toy horse for each child. Every child could color its horse by choice. Together with a kindergarten tailor Melita, every child made its own horse. The little horse was made of fabric, buttons, wool and wooden stick. This toy encourages language development and imagination. Kids could also jump with their horses pretending they were riding on them. Making different horses was a part of project that lasted couple of months. 23
CHRISTMAS BOX One of our activities in project was making special present for Christmas. In our first year, meeting in December was held in Croatia so Croatian team had a task to decide how will this presents look like. Final decision was that each partner will make handmade toys out of fabric. So each partner made special Christmas present for the matched school. Toys which we received from partners children use in their everyday activities and by that they are expanding their knowledge and interests for games and cultures of countries involved in this project.
Turkey made a present for Croatia
Croatia made a present for Norway.
Bulgaria made a present for Latvia.
Latvia made a present for Slovenia
Slovenia made a present for Turkey
Norway made a present for Bulgaria
In our second year, meeting in December was held in Latvia so Latvian team had a task to decide how will this presents look like. At this time each of project’s participants gets a special letter from Rudolph; “In every country children play and want to live through a fairy tale by dressing up as another character. To raise children’s imagination, fantasy, and creativity and bring joy, this Christmas i invite you to make 3 masks for children. It will be: •
Knitted, glued, or made of other soft materials or made using other techniques;
face mask, also comfy and safe to the children;
Corresponding to your country’s traditions.”
TINY HANDS ATELIER
On the instructions of the Bulgarian team toys first "Tiny hands competition" had to be made in the atelier from the following materials: clay, waste materials and textile, and yarn. Each partner country had to choose three toys from those materials in their own kindergarten. Selected products were shot and sent to colleagues from Norway, who had the task to publish all in booklet.
Bulgarian team chose these toys
Turkey - In our tiny hands atelier we formed the toys according to these three themes: coordination, emotional and social development creativity. We generally used waste and natural materials such as yarn, wood, bottles, clay, fabric and buttons. Children created their own puppets, wooden vehicles, musical instruments and dolls.
Croatia - All these activities caused interest and pleasure for children. In every activity some children participated â€“ according to their own choice and interest. Given the right on choosing the activity, children were very interested and they wanted to be a part of whole process. Success made them happy â€“ achievement of making a finished toy, no matter if they made it by themselves, with their friend or with an adult (teacher or parent). Depending on way how the toy was made, children later used it in different activities.
Latvia 1. Clay basket and accessories. An exelent Tiny hand factory! Give kids some clay and recieve their smiles and peaceful nature. 2. Making felt hedgehog. Take a piece of felt fabric and create a great present for your mom or interesting material for studying and having fun.Play hause from old boxes. Few old boxes and used Cristmass gift papers can prezent to kids wonderfull expierence! 3. Play house from old boxes. A few old boxes and used Cristmas gift papers can give kids a wonderfull expierence!
Norway - For our first Tiny Hands workshop, we made animals and houses with materials we collected from the nature. We also made wooden boats.
Slovenia â€“ We invite children to make toys from different materials and by team work and cooperation develop new experience, knowledge and nice memories We invited children to test their imagination, abilities and express creativity by making toys. Professional workers are looking for new forms of studying and working with children and family. Children used unstructured materials and made a unique toy by their own wish. Toy had a special meaning to them. This was a first such activity in our kindergarten and it brought satisfying results. Playing with their toys was a long term joy for children.
I. â€žOne day as a childâ€œ In games children develop physical skills, such as speed, agility, strength, learning endurance, perseverance. Games
navigate the surrounding reality and to respond appropriately. So our idea of parental weekend â€œA day as a child" was to return parents in their childhood with traditional games from the past and to spend some time with their children. Most - forward we planned and organized activities, then we selected traditional games and place where we will be held the weekend. We decided to hold it in the park. Working visit to Bulgaria weekend we presented parents weekend to colleagues from other countries. Games that we chosen were: "Pots" " Blind man's buff ", "Tunnel", "Dodgeball," "Soldiers", "Skip mare" / photo 1/.
Croatia One of the activities planned in CLOT project is „Parents weekend – A day as a child“. The idea was to organize one day in our kindergarten for both children and parents. 24 of our parents and their children were involved in mutual playing and workshops. Children were very happy to show their parents how they spend their time in kindergarten and parents were very excited and they enjoyed their „day as a child“.
Latvia The aim is to make parents feel like a child by participating in different sports activities, having joyful emotions and fun. First workshop tasks: 1. To promote child’s sense of responsibility by accomplishing the duties of the judge. 2. To develop friendly atmosphere, communication among children and parents, pleasant emotional environment. 3. To improve the ability of sharing responsibilities: being the main judge or player. 4. Being observant and fair when judging.
Slovenia Invitation for all parents and children – Playingwith Lego cubs. After the activity, parents and grandparents told us: •
I always wanted to have so many Lego cubs.
It was nice to play with our child and the others.
At the first, I think this was annoying, but at the end, we play very nice.
When I was a child, I never had cubs. I was enjoying.
Nice activities, well done.
We enjoyed playing with our grandson. The activities were creative.
My wife and I made a nice car. We had a little disagreement on how the car should look like. However, at the end, our grandson was pleased and we were happy.
It was nice to play in sand box.
I hope you organize some similar activities for grandparents next year too.
II. â€œImpact of toys on academic and professional careerâ€? Norway
This workshop was about letting the children getting to know more about their parents work and workplaces. Each country invited parents to tell the children about their job, and some made visits to the actual workplace. In the kindergarten we talked about what kind of job the children wanted to have when they grew up, and they made drawings of themselves in their future carreer. We also made play areas to let the children play the different kind of jobs. Giving them the opportunity to try out different equipment and playing different roles like fireman, hair dresser, doktor and patient, dentist and more. This was a valuable way of giving the children knowledge and experience with different types of jobs. After this workshop the children used their new knowledge about the different jobs and played the different roles for a long time.
Croatia Our research had two stages. First, we organized parental meetings in all three branches of Kindergarten „Dječji svijet“ (Varaždin, Petrijanec, Beretinec) and then we gave questionnaires to children and their parents. Among other things, we wanted to know what parents think, does the choice of a toy influence on a choice of a career, which toys were their favorite when they were young, what children think… According to results of this questionnaire,as well as talking to present parents, we concluded that toy doesn't influence on making a choice of future academic and professional career. Choosing right career is a whole life process and it requires realistic picture of yourself, of your abilities, potentials and achievements.
Latvia “We found out two different possibilities for taking part in this CLOT project activity 1. Visiting parents in their workplaces 2. Participating the project of Board of Education of Liepaja “Career day at preschool” Simple things and toys encourage a large perspective. Everything depends on the imagination!
Slovenia In kindergarten Metlika we also discover different professions. Itâ€™s written in Kindergarten curriculum that children should have opportunities to form basic life habits, discover different social spaces, working environments and professions through different activities. Our teachers make sure to inform children about different professions and working environments. Children are often informed about professions and jobs through their parents. However, in kindergarten teachers prepared 4 different working environments. While planning we had to think how to prepare such activities and consider diversity of children at same time and also how to allow different forms of expressions. We wanted for children to have fun, learn and communicate among themselves. For children we prepared hairdressing saloon, bar, healthcare clinic and clothes store. While preparing those 4 environments we make sure to give children realistic accessories. Through our experience we know that children enrich their vocabulary and communication skill with games. Different learning environments put children in different situations and imaginary reality has an effect on participation of children in these activities. Also playing roles helps children to recognize a world of adults, put them in different roles and teach them responsibilities and rules.
TRADITIONAL TOYS Bulgaria Coming from past toy bears the spirit of previous eras. Toy Story reflects the rise of civilization. In Bulgaria we have many traditional toys, dolls, cars, balls and more. But the Bulgarian team chose to present toy "Kolelentse"/ in English “Wheel”/. It is present in the childhood of our grandparents and younger children were taking a ring of carts, and - big have done so by hoops of old barrels. Nowadays kolelentseto is made of plastic. For toy "Kolelentse" writes author of Dobroudja Dora Gabe in poem Kate and Jori / photo 1/.
Turkey The longest spinning: It’s free spinning game. The players start to spin the spinner at the same time. The one who spins longer wins the game. Not to take the spinner out of the circle: Draw a big circle on the ground. The aim is not to take the spinner out of the circle. It’s a kind of chance game.
grandmothers used to have, were all made of natural materials. They played all together. Small and big kids, older and younger.. It did not play a role when it comes to play. They were all together. Hardly any child had bought toys or one that would be produced by industry. They were expensive and parents could not afford such a toy. But they did not care for such toys. They were happy and satisfied with what they have and what they themselves could do showing their creativity and imagination. Dolls were made out of different materials, such as wool, yarn, wood, corn leaves... They also made balls out of fabric, making a small lump and stitching it together so they could play with it. In autumn children would collect natural materials like nuts and make boats out of their shelves or chestnuts for making all kinds of animals.
Norway Here are some of the toys that
through generations here in Norway. The «Tomte» cars and «Anne» doll has been very
marbles, Norwegian sled, and “the ski jumper”.
Latvia Latvia is an agricultural country and our kids used to play with natural toys made of wood, wool,clay, straw, chestnuts, etc. The most favorite natural toys for Latvians are wooden spinners, called vilciņš, and clay whistles, called svilpaunieki.
Bracken is one of the characteristic ferns that grow among the birches of Bela krajina. The bracken colonies, known as “steljniki”, are protected as a natural heritage and we proudly show them to the visitors of Bela krajina. In the past, ferns were mown and given to livestock as litter in a barn, but today most of the bracken colonies are overgrown. Only few of them are still preserved. »Steljcanje«, an old traditional game. Children used to make a game with bracken. They used fern stables and small stick that they had cut. To play the game, you need 10 sticks that represent farmers and two more special ones: one is cut to have two prongs and is the Queen, while the other has three prongs and represents the King. One of the children holds all the sticks and then lets them all drop one over the other. Children then alternately pull the sticks out. If the stick they are pulling moves another stick, they have to stop pulling and another player gets their turn. Children add points together. They count a farmer as one point, the Queen as two and the King as three points. The player with the highest score is the winner of the game.
III. TRANSNATIONAL MEETINGS
During our project, we had total of 7 international meetings. It was a great way to see firsthand other cultures and methods of work and to discuss about past and future activities.
Meetings that were held: Turkey (7-11 October 2013) Croatia (11-15 December 2013) Bulgaria (11-15 May 2014) Norway (23-28 September 2014) Latvia (9-13 December 2014) Slovenia (17-21 March 2015) Turkey (18-22 May 2015)
In the next chapter there is a complete overview of our meetings. At the end of each report there is a CLOT newsletter, which was used to inform other colleagues and our community about our work.
I. ISTANBUL, TURKEY
The first meeting was held in Istanbul, Turkey at 7-11 October 2013. All partner countries came to our school, Yakac覺k Doga Kindergarten and we met each other for the first time which was so important and exciting for us. The sessions started with warm up activities because everybody was very excited and nervous about the project and their new partners. This first meeting was dedicated to the division of the labor and took a quick overview of the project and the questions were answered. We talked about the importance of organizing our teams at school. All the partners argued about the outline of the project as it was mentioned at the summary. Expectations of the partners were asked, each partner talked about their expectations both for their students and their teachers. Project Objectives were discussed. Our first impression on the partners was the motivation of the teachers and principals, we noticed it from their comments and the questions they asked. The objectives and out puts of the Project were discussed and tasks were shared among the partners. Besides the sessions we had good time with our colleagues and had a chance to know each other and to know different cultures.
PARTICIPANTS Latvia Dina Jaunzeme Daiga Bluma Gunita Jonase
Penka Milanova Tsvetelina Dimitrova Marinela Pencheva Dimitrichka Georgieva
Norway Maria Tjaum Eimstad Ă…shild Carlsen Lene Berberg
Croatia Ljubimka Hajdin Vlatko Hajdin Tea Pirker
Marijanca Kolar Sasa Stubljar Natasa Bajuk Mateja Hlebec
II. VARAZDIN, CROATIA
Our second meeting was held in Varazdin from 11th till 15th of December 2013. The first day was reserved for the arrival of all partners and welcoming participants at the airport Pleso, and rest before the start of the working part of the meeting. In front of us were three days filled with work meetings as well as many other activities. During the working sessions series of activities planned by the project were held, as well as additional activities that are involved in the project for better understanding of differences and similarities of cultures As a host, kindergarten Djecji svijet realized five main assignments, due to assignments provided by project: Special toy box for Christmas, Logo competition, Toys club, Booklet and Social responsibility. Activities of socializing and getting to know the host country: -
advent – visit to
greetings on Christmas Eve -
culture, traditional food -
communication through game and socializing) – packanje (Cro), beshki (Bg), beshtash (Tr), kamenčkanje (Slo) -
dancing in circle with traditional music of partner countries
Cooperation with local government Implementation of the project was supported by the local government, the Municipality of Petrijanec and the City of Varazdin, who also included themselves actively. Also, actively were involved Vara탑din City Museum, Elementary School Petrijanec, Parish Petrijanec and Cultural Folklore Society Petrijanec. The municipality of Petrijanec organized a reception for all participants of the project. Mayor Vladimir Kurecic presented the development of preschool education and also the tradition of making souvenirs from traditional materials (leaves of maize, crochet thread). In the city of Varazdin project participants were hosted by Deputy Mayor Vjeran Radelic and Head of the Department of Social Services Danijela Vusic. During the meeting they expressed satisfaction and recognition of institutions which implement this project, especially because of nurturing and maintaining cultural traditions, extension of activities with children as well as improving the quality of cooperation with parents.
Turkey Elif Karadöl Belkıs Yeşilyurt Hüseyin Örnek Nuray Vatansever Gül Dilara Özdemir
Latvia Krıstīne Ūtrupa Sıgıta Gūtmane Ilze Tumpele Inta Znotēna
Bulgaria Dimitrichka Vasileva Georgieva Marinela Vasileva Pencheva Dilyana Georgieva Yoveva Gergina Todorova Marinova Milena Deneva Momcheva
Slovenia Marijanca Kolar Darja Govednik Olga Ivanetič Suzana Šajnič Zdenka Furlič
Norway Maria Tjaum Eimstad Ragnhild Kvernaland Ueland Åshild Carlsen Lene Berberg
Renata Pavlovič Melita Kajin Mateja Hlebec Nataša Bajuk Saša Štubljar
III. DOBRICH, BULGARIA Working visit in Dobrich, Bulgaria was held from 11. 05 to 15. 05. 2014. Visited by representatives of all countries - partners - Turkey, Croatia, Latvia, Slovenia and Norway. During the visit took place four workshops. Were discussed and future dates for work visits and what is to be done. The events that we have organized outside the meetings were varied and fun. 1. We visited a nursery "Spring", which educate and raise children aged 1 to 3 years. Our hosts greeted us with bread and salt and showed us their building and well-kept yard game. Children greeted us with folklore program / photo 1/.
2. Colleagues from Europe had the opportunity to get acquainted with our folk dances of traditional concert of the kindergarten, which is held at the end of each year under the motto "Sunny puzzle." Children of all age groups prepared folk dances from different regions of Bulgaria / photo 2/. 3. Our colleagues visited the Art Gallery of Photo 2
Dobrich, which is one of the most - large galleries on the Balkan Peninsula. Each team had to
prepare using paper and cardboard costume of their country/ photo 3/.
4. Interest among our partners cause visit historical museum in our city, in which they got acquainted with the cultural - historical heritage of Dobrudja. In the museum have old school, where all were able to immerse themselves in the atmosphere of the last Photo 4
century / photo 4/.
5. The program was planned and carried out a trip to one of the most - beautiful and famous attractions in the area. First we visited the Natural - archaeological reserve of Cape Kaliakra, which is located 62 km. North of Dobrich. Our journey continues to one of the most - beautiful coastal towns - Balchik, also known as â€œWhite Cityâ€?. Together with our European colleagues visited architectural - park complex "The Palace". On its territory are built chapels, courtyards, fountains and buildings in different styles. The complex has the winery where we had the opportunity to testing different types of wines. Near the palace is the University Botanical which specializes in the development of a collection of tropical and subtropical exotic. It rais more than 3500 different plant species. We did not miss to visit the wide beach of the most - our famous resort "Albena". The visit ended with the traditional Bulgarian night, which were awarded certificates to all of the guests / photo 5, 6 /.
PARTICIPANTS Croatia Ljubimka Hajdin
Turkey Belkis Yeşilyurt, Mürüve Günerdi, Elif Karadöl,
Vlatko Hajdin Tea Pirker Zrinka Duic Jelena Kezic
Nuray Vatansever Gül, Dilara Özdemir, Meryem Çelebi
Norway Maria Tjaum Eimstad Ragnhild Kvernaland Ueland
Latvia Kristīne Ūtrupa,
Åshild Carlsen Lene Berberg
Kristīne Uzāre, Aija Bulava, Ināra Cipriķe
Slovenia Marijanca Kolar, Zdenka Furlič, Sasa Stubljar, Natasha Bajuk
IV. KVERNALAND, NORWAY
23.-28. September 2014 it was our time to be host of the clot-project. We wanted to give our participants a varied experience of Norway - our culture, nature and pedagogics. Our first day together we spent in our kindergarten. We gave a presentation of the Norwegian pedagogics and afterwards a tour of the kindergarten. Our children-groups were instructed to show their regular routines, so that our participants got to see a wide variety of activities. After a tour of the kindergarten and communicating what is important to us in our work, we got many good discussions about differences and similarities in working in a kindergarten. Being able to see and experience different countries and cultures, and discussing our work with other kindergarten teachers is a good way to reflect on our own practice and learn from each other. Being outdoor and learning how to use the nature and our surrounding areas in an active way is very important to us. Therefore we wanted our participants to get the possibility to explore some of our great nature with us. Together we all walked up to Dalsnuten, a popular mountain top in our local community. At the top, we got a great view over Sandnes and Jaeren. At the city hall, we got to meet our educative minister, Ørjan Daltveit and Elin De Jara, head of communication in Time municipality. They told us about our municipality – “a safe and sustainable community”. In the evening, the mayor had invited us to dinner together with other representatives for Time municipality. Other visits included a farm kindergarten, an organ concert in Ogna, the science factory in Sandnes, toys museum Stavanger and a bus trip to Byrkjedalstunet. We see great value in these international meetings, giving the possibility to communicate our values and challenges. This creates valuable discussions about our everyday life in the
kindergarten, and reflections on how we together can create the best possible upbringing and development of children across national borders. Thanks to all participants for a great experience together in Norway.
PARTICIPANTS Turkey Belkıs Yeşilyurt Elif Karadöl
Bulgaria Penka Theleva Milanova Dimitrichka Vasileva Georgieva Diyana Nikolova Kostadinova
Croatia Ljubimka Hajdin Vlatko Hajdin Tea Pirker Zrinka Duic
Latvia Dina Jaunzeme Dace Žāže Marika Dobele
Zdenka Furlic Sasa Stubljar Olga Ivanetic Suzana Sajnic Melita Kajin Marijanca Kolar
V. LIEPAJA, LATVIA Our partners visited two cities in Latvia – Riga (capital city) and Liepaja (where our kindergarten ”Saulite” is located ). Our guests visited Latvia during the time when Christmas was knocking on
introduce them to some of Latvian Christmas traditions – national traditions (games, food,songs, divination, handicrafts etc.), church traditions as well as secular trends.
kindergartens in Liepaja
gave a huge support in the process of deeper understanding of Latvia’s educational system as well. Everyone we approached was happy to tell us about their development
work they’ve already done and their future plans related to preschool education. We managed to find the time to show our partners the Baltic sea and the historical part of the city – Karosta. The whole team of the project was very enthusiastic and devoted to organizing this event and put a lot of effort into carrying out their duties. The participants were really saticfide with their own work.
PARTICIPANTS Bulgaria Penka Zheleva Milanova
Turkey Belkıs Yeşilyurt Elif Karadöl Nuray Vatansever Gül Büşra Aparan
Gergina Todorova Marinova Diyana Nikolova Kostadinova Tatyana Vasilievna Zhelyazkova Mima Zheleva Yordanova Daniela Gencheva Dimitrova
Meryem Çelebi Sevgi Sarıca
Norway Maria Tjaum Eimstad
Tea Pirker Zrinka Duic Dijana Pticek
Slovenia Mateja Hlebec Katarina Kukman Marijanca Kolar
VI. METIKA, SLOVENIA In week from 16.3.15 up to 20.3.15, we hosted partners of project Commenius. Participants came to us from five countries: Turkey, Croatia, Latvia, Bulgaria and Norway. When they arrived, we showed them Bled with castle and OtoÄ?ec. On Wednesday, we receive them and proudly show our kindergarten and introduce our program. They watched our workshops, cases of good practice, art expo and Commenius corner with great interest. We take them in our orchard and garden and explain them how children gain new information, learning themselves, develop ability of observing, interpretation and describing with usage of senses. Students of High school for preschool education together with their mentor showed us how we teach early natural science and combine it with educational function. Students prepared different activities for children on playground. Through these activities, participants could see how we organize student practice. Such experience was something new for all participants because they are unfamiliar with such practice in their home countries. We also showed them our animal corner and how we get acquainted with animals over a direct touch. Maintenance of animal corner is very hard and responsible job and we are one of rare kindergartens who have permanent animal corner. We also prepared interesting music workshop â€“ playing on music trees. Those trees were special because one of participants project objectives were a creation of homemade instruments. Feedback from all participants was very positive and they complimented on how excellent our preschool education system is. They were impressed by our innovative work, tidiness and state of kindergarten and local area.
In afternoon, we were accepted by the mayor Darko Zevnik in Kambič gallery. Sightseeing through old part of the town was very pleasant for
international children art expo on Metlika castle which was opened a week before. Later we visited old pilgrimage center Tri fare and finished our day on Tourist farm Pečarič where we taste some of local wines and took part in demonstration of baking Belokranjska pogača in House of good bread. We started Thursday with a mini Olympics. Participants also took part in Olympics where they awarded children with medals.
In afternoon, we went on a tour around Bela krajina. We visited Podzemelj, Krupa spring, old part of Črnomelj and finished our tour in Semič. In Semič, we also taste some of Simonič sparkling wines.
On Friday, our last day we went for Postojna in early hours. At start, we visited Postojna kindergarten. This visit was special because we wanted to show a little different kindergarten. Postojna kindergarten was also important because it organize Slovenian competition My idea â€“ My toy which stimulate creativity of pedagogic workers. Then we visited Postojna cave and then went for Ljubljana our capital. All participants had some of spare time so they went on sightseeing. We complete our day in Restaurant Ĺ estica. After the meal, we give all participants certificates and gifts. In late hours, we part our ways and we were full of unforgettable impressions and nice memories We are sure that our guest felt good among us and so acquired a lot of new experiences and knowledge. At the end, we find out that all partners acquired a lot new and precious experience on professional, educational and personal level.
PARTICIPANTS Bulgaria Dimitrichka Vasileva Georgieva
Marinela Vasileva Pencheva
Dilyna Georgieva Yoveva
Milena Deneva Momcheva
Stanka Todorova Petrova
Rositsa Ivanova Moraliyska
Latvia Dina Jaunzeme
Croatia Ljubimka Hajdin
Iveta Marote Ligita Razma Kristine Utrupa
Vlatko Hajdin Tea Pirker Zrinka Duic Jelena Kezic Mihaela Bosnjak Sanja Krizanec
Norway Maria Tjaum Eimstad Linda Haukland Åshild Carlsen Lene Berberg Siri Oline Vatland
VII. ISTANBUL, TURKEY Meeting in Istanbul-Turkey (18-22 May 2015) Turkish team welcomed the partners and each partner country brought the toys for the multicultural museum to be displayed. The multicultural museum is displayed after the opening ceremony. The toy museum in Yakacık Doğa School is visited by the partner countries. We talked about the activities we have done so far in our work sessions. We also gathered ideas about the final report, each country decided on common points. Also we argued about the sustainability of the Project; FOR THE ASPECT OF PARENTS, FOR THE ASPECT OF CHILDREN, FOR THE ASPECT OF TEACHERS. For Children; TOY CLUB * During the project we analyzed that toy club activities developed children’s social and behavioral skills. We decided to continue these activities after the project. TRADİTİONAL GAMES * We added playing traditional games to our weekly programme and we observed that these games effected children-parents relationship in a positive way. We also shared the information with our children that most of the traditional games are common among the cultures, we will continue playing these games and develop them even after the project finishes. For Parents; PARENTS WEEKENDS * These ateliers increased the time that parents shared with children.
* We witnessed that these ateliers changed the point of views of parents to toys and even their children. * These parents’ weekends and the questionnaire raised awareness about toy choice and importance of toys. We are planning to continue these workshops with our parents. For teachers; As our project is an international project, teachers had a chance to visit different countries and different kindergartens so they observed new educational systems and model, they adopted them to our educational model. TOY CLUB Toy club activities helped teachers to learn more about their students and developed the teacher-student relationship. We continue toy club activities as part of our programme. All toy club, all tiny hands ateliers, parents weekends, social responsibility projects and other activities developed teachers academic careers. This project is an important step for the teachers, they continue to work and search more. Common points; Social responsibility projects; these projects helped children, teachers and parents to understand others and increased awareness and helping each other. We are planning new social responsibility projects for the next term. As our project is an international project and sharing international products made the project more useful for children, parents and teachers. We are hoping to have common activities with our partners and go on this international partnership in different platforms. As a result; The Project ‘CLOT’ is successfully came to the end with this last meeting in Istanbul. All the partners decided that each country gained a lot and practiced a lot during the Project. Each partner country agreed to continue working together in the future and enlarging, sustaining the Project with different activities. We all came to the end of the ‘CLOT’ but we all will continue to work together to be more beneficial to our students, teachers and parents.
PARTICIPANTS Latvia Dina Jaunzeme
Milena Momcheva Mima Yordanova Tatyana Zhelyazkova Rosita Moraliyska Stanka Petrova Kirilka Mincheva
Norway Maria Tjaum Eimstad Ă…shild Carlsen Ragnhild Kverneland Ueland
Darja Govednik Olga Ivanetic Melita Kajin
CLOT NEWS Our 7th partner meetinginIstanbul 18.05.16-22.05.16 We started our official program in Yakacik Doga Kindergarten where we were greeted by children and staff. Meeting was held from 18-22.05.2015. We were 27 visitors, and 15 participated as hosts.
First work session We all visited the toy museum, withch all participants had donated toys for.
Second work session We had a session about the sustainability of the project.
Third work session
We visited Beykoz Doga Collage. Forth work session We had a ecology workshop together with the staff in Beykoz Doga Collage.
Otheractivities: We visited the Traditional Toy museum in Yakacık Doğa College, The Prince islands, Beylerbeyi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Basilica Cistern. We walked through the Istiklal street.
VALORIZATION AND DISEMINATION Turkey During the project process we as the coordinator of the CLOT aimed to carry out the project process regularly to create the project outputs in the best way. The dissemination of our project products & results was caught people’s attention through web site, newsletter, booklets, leaflets and social responsibility project. We organized “Parents’ Weekends” to inform our parents and pupils in terms of having the idea of the project. •
Project "CLOT" unite children, parents and teachers from six European countries in activities to achieve a one aim-affirmation of the toy as a means of understanding the world and as a first step in building a skill for lifelong learning. We used the toys in daily activities with children as a means of education for empathy, social and cultural communication, to enrich their knowledge and competences. The children developed collaborative skills and creative imagination in the development of various toys. Enriched social skills and contacts, sharing them with their new friends from kindergarten "Hope". We are convinced that toys are important cultural value for the development of all children, regardless of their national or social origin. The parents were our partners in all project activities. They enjoyed and they have interesting moments in the life of their children and raised their parental competence and responsibility. With the toys in "Christmas boxes" exchanged attention, ideas, national and cultural skills and traditions.During his visit in Bulgaria partners had the opportunity to see the “Toy Museum” in the kindergarten, created by the parents of the children and citizens of Dobrich. On the
workshopsmet the educational systems of different countries.
Weexchanged important educational information and creative ideas. Weenriched professional experiences with innovative and creative approaches to teaching and education. The multicultural activities helped us to get to know better our partners to understand and
appreciate their uniqueness, to enrich their knowledge about their culture and traditions.
The project ideas were promoted through interviews and articles in local and national newspapers and televisions.We used the page of the kindergarten in Facebook, in the site of the kindergarten, the places "Comenius", which regularlyimagined information for the work on the project "Common language of Toys".
HOW we worked with our local government In the project "Common language of Toys" ZDG №10
municipality of Dobrich and department "OK" like local authorities. At the start of the project they were familiar with the aims and objectives of the project and the commitments of the kindergarten as a partner. Disbursement of all Photo 7
funds on the project and the posting of the
participants in the workshops done with their permission. After all mobility participants, informing with a written report local authorities, for their work during the visit. While responding to the project partners in kindergarten "Slunchice" in May 2014 was attended by the Head of Department "OK" –Neycho Neychev and senior expert Silvia Ivanova (Photo1).Ms. Kamelia Koycheva- deputy. Mayor for Education in Dobrich Municipality, opened the "Toy Museum", exposed in kindergarten (Photo 2).
She greeted the partners involved in the third project workshop in town Dobrich like wished them successful work (Photo3). With the support of Dobrich Municipality was provided concert hall "Dobrich", whose scene the children of kindergarten "Slunchice" presented concert „Sunny puzzle" dedicated Photo 3
to our European partners.
Croatia This two-year project involved 6 partners (Turkey, Bulgaria, Croatia, Latvia, Norway and Slovenia) to discover the similarities and compare the differences of their cultures through investigating and making reusable each partner's traditional toys from past to present. Main objective of the project was the affirmation of toys as means by which children understand the world. Child uses a toy to get to know the world that surrounds him, to transfer and express his experience of the social and material environment of his childhood and it is a first step in building lifelong learning skills. To achieve the main goal of the project we used the toys, according to the plan of the project, in various and numerous activities. During the project activities we realized the development of experience and knowledge, social and communication skills of children. Cooperation of professional staff and kindergartens as a whole, through seven transnational meetings, communication by email and eTwinning portal has enabled project participants to get acquainted with different cultures, specific toys of each country and ways of using toys as well as their meaning in the lives of children. In this way, we have expanded the expertise of adults and developed a multicultural dimension of respect and acceptance of diversity of ways of living and playing for children. Multicultural activities enabled us to get to know our partners better and to understand and appreciate each otherâ€™s uniqueness. We expanded our knowledge of their cultures and traditions and met their educational systems and the ways and methods of working with children. In addition to children and professional staff, the project activities included parents, local community representatives, the media and the wider community in each country. We consider the toys as important cultural value for development of all children, regardless of their national or social origin. During the project activities the children learned about ways of making traditional toys. This created a significant intergenerational integration. Without stories about how their grandparents used to play and showing the process of making traditional toys there would be no extended experience and knowledge about the diversity of each cultureâ€™s specific toys. A great help and cooperation in such activities were parents of our pupils. They were regularly involved in all project activities. Connecting parents and children through shared games and toy making, gathering several generations of family members (children, parents and grandparents) in the activities and
games carried out during the project had a special contribution to the project. Besides that, with their active involvement in the project activities, parents have also achieved new level of education. The project provided comprehension on how important is the material of the toy to develop children's sensomotorics. In addition, parents have realized the importance of communication with children by using toys as a transitional object for easier childâ€™s expression about his experiences with the environment. During the project, the parents have raised their parental competence and responsibility. Tradition was also very important part of our project. By the exchange of toys in activities "Christmas box" we exchanged not only gifts, but ideas and national and cultural traditions. During the project meeting in Croatia our partners could see the historical review of the use of toys through the photos given to us by courtesy of the Museum of the City of Varazdin. In
addition, we organized "Toy Museum" in which were, besides other toys, Croatian traditional wooden toys painted by hand, which are under the protection of UNESCO as cultural heritage. We also exhibited photos of traditional toys that were made by grandparents from our region, which we obtained in collaboration with the students of the University of Zagreb, Department of Teacher Education Faculty in Cakovec. Project ideas have been promoted through interviews and articles in local and national newspapers and television stations. We used the kindergartens website and the eTwinning portal where we regularly published information on the activities carried out in the project. We also presented the project to students of the University of Zagreb, Department of Teacher Education in Cakovec and at the University North in Varazdin.
In this project we cooperated with the municipality Petrijanec, City of Varazdin and municipality of Beretinec. At the beginning of the project we introduced them with the project objectives and our obligations as a partner. Head of Petrijanec municipality, mr Vladimir Kurecic, and Deputy Mayor Vjeran Radelic and Head of the Department of Social Services Danijela Vusic from Varazdin hosted all our partners during the meeting in Croatia. On that occasion, partners were introduced to the economic development of the region, the educational system, and traditional and cultural practices related to project activities. The Varazdin city museum was also included in our project by providing the use of old toys and photographs. With the support of the Municipality of Petrijanec we saw a concert of traditional folk songs and customs of our region. Program for the project partners was also supported by Cultural society of Municipality of Petrijanec and choir and drama group from Elementary School Petrijanec.
Latvia The idea of the project is very inviting and useful for preschool teachers because toys are the main material and training base for kindergarten education. It was very interesting and exciting to participate in the activities of the project, realize ideas and involve others – colleagues and parents. An extra motivating fact was that similar ideas were realized in 5 other countries besides Latvia as well. Thanks to this brilliant idea from the Turkey’s team all participants of the project had the opportunity to learn about other European countries, their culture, history and educational system through the interesting material which is toys. This kind of opportunity of European Union level gives educators additional inspiration for their daily work with kids, gives the necessary confidence about themselves as successful and gifted educators and reminds them that they are just as professional, responsible and inspiring employees as educators in any other country. Confident and inspiring teachers work with dedication and diligence and create a joyful learning environment for children and motivate those willing to know more. This beautiful idea brought together teachers from six countries united by a common goal. People from different cultures and religious backgrounds were able to do great things working together which proves that a positive attitude towards children and their future can knock down walls and unite many people in one team. Due to the teachers enriching experience in the aspect of European Union, their pupils also gained an indirect connection with different countries that initiated their interest to learn about punctuation in these countries. The project’s idea encouraged a deeper examination of our roots, history, cultural heritage and also support towards our less fortunate fellowmen. The parents were happy to support the ideas brought by the teachers and were involved in the project’s activities in the kindergarten. We are grateful for everyone’s encouragement, interest and support.
The following web-sites were used to popularize the project and inform society about its progress: •
COOPERATION WITH LOCAL GOVERNMENTS We were proud and gratified for our city when visiting Liepajas City Council where the participants were introduced to the development plans of the city, new ideas and the work they’ve already done with the support of the Europe Union. The director of the Education Board expressed his joy for the opportunities this project gives to preschool educational institutions and wished everyone good luck, creativity and
conclusion. We express gratitude to Liepajas City Council and Education Board for their support and encouragement during this project.
Norway Being a part of the Comenius project “Common language of toys” have been a valuable experience to us. To get to know the ways of other countries, cultures, kindergartens and especially the participants have given us new knowledge and a new awareness in the important job we have. Discussing and reflecting over our educational systems and practice have given us a greater understanding of kindergartens in a European perspective. Sharing values and challenges have given us a good opportunity to reflect on our own practice and seeing things from a fresh perspective. We see that we have much to learn from other cultures, and that we can inspire others. Being a rather wealthy country makes it easy for us to buy new toys and equipment when we need it. Visiting other kindergartens made us realize how much we can gain from making our own toys and equipment based on things we have at hand. Using refuse materials, using old materials in new ways and being creative can make so much out of so little. Therefore, in meeting other kindergartens and seeing how creative they were in making toys and play areas, we were inspired to be more reflective of what we buy. We should challenge ourselves to use what we have in a more resourceful way. Working with the “Tiny hands” competitions also showed us how much the children could gain from being a part of this process of making their own toys and play areas. Having an idea, being creative and working on finding solutions on how to make it, is a valuable process to be a part of. It teaches them a lot about taking care of the toys we have and taking actions to care for the environment. The pride they have in playing with their handmade toys is a magic experience. We think both the children and the teachers learn a lot from being a part of this process. Because of this project, our children got many experiences and learned a lot. Through “social responsibility”, they experienced how they can make a difference to others in their local community. Through “parents workshop” the children and parents had a great time together in the kindergarten together. They played games together in “one day as a child” and the parents got to tell about their work and workplaces in “impact of toys on professional career”. We believe that this strengthen the bond between the children and their parents, giving them good ways to be together and feeling pride in each other. It also strengthens the relationship between the families and the kindergarten.
COOPERATION WITH LOCAL GOVERNMENTS For Kvernaland kindergarten and Time municipality, the project has provided insight into methods and research in the field of toys and training. In addition, we have made contacts and exchanged experiences with teaching staff in kindergartens in Europe. Something we feel that has been very inspiring and valuable for us as employees in the Norwegian kindergarten. Disciplines as creativity and drawing, mathematics, science, narrative and music have been central to the project, and play are an important tool in all these areas. Our municipality have been proud of our participation in the clot project. Through their webpage, they have published some articles about our project and our visit during the 4th mobility in Norway. The municipality gave a presentation of themselves to our project members and invited them all to a dinner with the mayor and some of the representatives for Time municipality. We are thankful for a good cooperation with our local government.
Slovenia Cooperation in international project Comenius was something completely new and unknown for entire kindergarten. At the beginning, there were fear and doubts if we will be able to realize given goals. However, when we confront our first obstacle everything went smoothly. We defeated our fear ahead of traveling in foreign countries, strengthened our knowledge of English language, and made contacts with foreign colleagues. We discovered other countries, their education systems, culture and traditions. Together we learned how to present our own country, culture and tradition. On this foundations we can easily bring new stuff in already settled curriculum, we offer children something new, different, extraordinary and interesting. In such way, we can enrich children and ourselves. Trough different workshops we familiarize parents and children with toys made from natural materials, we inquired parents about games which they play in their youth, they were invited to play like children, an interesting toy also travel among children and survive an interesting week with them. Children also discovered many different professions and we established true Toy museum. Local community was informed about our activities through published articles in local newspaper Belokranjec and on certain websites: •
IV. OPINIONS AND IMPRESSIONS Turkey Parent: Mehtap Tunçyürek, The project is very beneficial for me and my son to realize the importance of toys. We attended the “Parents’ Weekends” workshops; we had great time while we were having a day as a child. Child: Zeynep Ergü, I played with the toy ‘CLOT’ and I took it my home, we enjoyed a lot. I learned different countries and their customs. Teacher; Meryem Çelebi, I had a chance to visit two countries; Latvia and Bulgaria and I learned about their educational systems. As a class teacher it was a great experience for me to witness the differences and similarities between the cultures. I hope I will attend these kind of projects in the future. Principal: Belkıs Yeşilyurt, It was a wonderful teaching and learning experience for me. I gained a lot from the project; ‘Common Language of Toys’, I met other principals and observed their guiding strategies. It was also a good chance for me to investigate different teaching strategies. Coordinator: Elif Karadöl, The project, ‘CLOT’ is very important for me; I learned many things from the project and improved my educational, social, organizational skills through the project. I coordinated my colleagues at school and also guided project partners. It is a very beneficial experience for me. I learned a lot from each partner country about their cultures, customs, educational systems and their point of views about many different things. I hope this friendly atmosphere with our partner countries will continue and we will work together in different platforms.
Bulgaria Violina, Lilia's mother from the "Bee" group Work on the project return back memories of my childhood. Creation of toys developed creativity in children and parents. Moreover enable communication outside the family. Adelina, 5 years from "Bee" group I really liked the project because we learned to make toys and share our favorite toys with other children. Dimitrichka Georgieva /Dima/ – teacher from “ Bee” group The project “Common language of toys” is valuable because through him I develop my social, organizational, language, computer and creative competences. I also learned that the toy is equally important for all children, and when children play they speak on common language the language of toys. Marinella Vassileva, coordinator I worked closely with our partners on the project "The common language of toys." My job as coordinator requires very good organization of workflow activity, allocation of responsibilities between the colleagues in our kindergarten. The project I enrich my vision for the traditions and cultures of other countries and their education systems. For me, the project was valuable and that we were able to inclusion activities for parents and they willingly and gladly participated in them with their children. Penka Milanova, principal in kindergarten “ Sunshine” The "common language of toys" increased general and professional competence of the whole team. Through him we met the educational systems and the organization of work in partner kindergartens in the project. We got to know different cultural traditions and established professional and personal friendships for life. Interacting with different, unique with their skills and qualities people enrich our social contacts and tolerant behavior.
Croatia Luka, 6 yearsold „I liked it very much, especially when we brought our toys from home to kindergarten. You could bring the toy you love and it was a great day. Then you exchange it with your friend and play together. “ Tihana, Kiril’s mother “When we live in our own culture and community we have certain standards and values. We can read, hear or watch other people’s ways of life and their values, but to go for a week to another country and meet people and see how they live is a real eye opening experience. That was the purpose of this project. Teachers from different countries met each other and learned about each other values and knowledge. For me, as a parent who, in upbringing of a child gives greatest attention to independence of a child and encouraging their affinities, I was most impressed by Norwegian organization of preschool education. They support and encourage spending time in nature which lacks not only in our preschool education, but in our community in general. Jelena Kezic, teacher As a teacher, I gained a lot of experience through this project. I liked meeting with colleagues from other countries, both face to face and through their work in the kindergarten. Although we come from different cultures, we found many similarities through toys and playing. Beside us as teachers, children also gained much, so they learned, among other things, how to share theirs and take care of others toys through Toys club activities. Tea Pirker, coordinator "Participation in CLOT project was a beautiful experience for myself, as well as for our kindergarten. When I look back, I can see that during those two years we grew together with this project, professionally and personally. We met other cultures, we worked as a team, we saw many wonderful places and met people who became our really good friends. Also we practiced making compromises and tolerance. We showed what we know best and we
learned from others. Values which we gained by this project made ourselves rich, as well as our pupils because we implemented them in our everyday work." Ljubimka Hajdin, principal This project motivated teachers, parents and children to gather information about old toys as well as to collect them. Besides that, big impact of this project is development of social competences of all participants. We expanded our knowledge of different cultures, and transnational meetings and meeting the people enabled us for better understanding of both different cultures and ways of work. By doing that we became richer with new experiences but also more tolerant in accepting diversities. Special importance of this project is connecting the kindergartens among partner countries. We also accomplished great quality cooperation with parents of our pupils. Joint activities and social responsibility for others expanded the horizons of our concern for others. Children, as the youngest participants of the project, realized cognitive development both through information about different toys throughout history, and through all of the different toys and games from partner countries in the project. The project enabled the professional development of all professionals in the kindergarten, as well as professional services and administration, which have significantly improved their IT skills, acknowledged and accepted customs of other cultures. In addition to this, visits to other kindergartens enabled us to acquire new professional experiences, which are more than work on project activities. We were introduced to various programs of work, work organization in kindergartens, possible cooperation with parents and the social environment. Work on the organization of the Toys museum has increased our competence of organization and cooperation with different generations which also holds an important contribution to the project impact. Latvia Aija, Aron’s grandmother: „I’m proud that my grandson is attending a kindergarten where the teachers are active and participate in such an international project. This kindergarten is the only one in our city that is involved in this European Union’s project.
The kids learn about different countries, want to learn their geographical location on the world’s map, are interested in their clothing, look for differences and similarities. They are happy to find that other countries have similar games. Kids from all of the countries are very interested in participating in the project’s activities. They are proud when they can tell and show something about themselves.”
Kristine, Klavs mother “We were informed that our group’s children and teachers are participating the Comenius project. Kids had an opportunity to learn about other cultures. The idea of the toy museum was very interesting because it allowed us to find out the history of the toys. It’s very positive that the projects activities can be followed on your web-site where anyone can see the work that you’re doing.” Linda, Beate’s mother “In my opinion the most valuable thing the teachers are giving to the children is all the experiences. Kids personally know a few more Europian countries now. Clot (project’s mascot) was very cute. Kids welcomed it as a guest from another country, told him about themselves and treated him as a real friend.” Luize, group 3.b „Butterflies” “I loved the Turkish flag! I would like to go to Turkey someday.” Rihards, group 6.b „Little Stars” “Our teacher visited kids in Norway. There she met a troll girl and climbed a big mountain. I know now six countries and flags – Latvia, Norway, Bulgaria, Turkey, Slovenia, Croatia.” Kristine, project’s coordinator “I’m happy that we were involved in this project! Kindergarten’s principal and colleagues always supported the project’s activities with their ideas and inspired each other to work with joy. During the project we met colleagues from other countries and realised that the work of a preschool teacher is both hard and filled with immense joy and energy in every country.A 98
huge satisfaction came from everyones mutual understanding, productive discussions and genuine interest in making this project being successful and engrossing. The gained experience of other countries’ education systems is a huge source for new ideas and challenges. For our preschool this is the first international project and it has given us valuable experience and courage to search for partners in other projects offered by the teachers cooperation’s platforms in Europe Union.” Dina, principal of the kindergarten This project gave us the opportunity to learn about toys and games in other nations, to find out the meaning of toys in the lives of our kids, to see the development, their role in the learning proccess and everyday life as well as to learn the parents’ views on toys. During this project children gained a lot of new knowledge because they were involved in many different activities and creative practices. The kids understood that everywhere around the world children like to play, but there are cultural differences and national traditions reflected in their toys. This project was an amazing success because through the prism of toys we could talk, explore and learn about ourselves and other nations. Toys speak the language that is understood by everybody, but they also highlight the differences – national peculiarities, the structure of the educational system in each country and the unique individuality of the project’s participants. Norway Principal and coordinator – Maria Tjaum Eimstad – “This project allows us a unique opportunity to learn more about other cultures, how other kindergarten organize their daily life and how their teachers organize and work with the children. The project also inspires us to work with toys in new ways that we would not have done if it were not for this project. Teacher - “We have received many good tasks to carry out, and they have been of such a kind that we may not have done them without this project. The task of “Social responsibility” was especially valuable to me. Here our children got to donate toys to children less fortunate, in reception centres. The joy in our children’s eyes when they gave the toys was magic, but the
joy of those who received the gifts said even more. Afterwards we spent some time getting to know
Parent – “We had a "Parents workshop", an afternoon where the parents were invited to the kindergarten to play traditional children's games. It was incredibly fun. The teachers in the kindergarten were so enthusiastic and wanted all the parents to participate. It is a long time since I have played and had so much fun. I want to do much more of this. Thanks to the kindergarten and the project for the joy I got to experience with my children playing these games.” Child – “The funniest things we have done in the CLOT-project - is a lot. It was nice to learn about all the countries and it was nice to make things in clay. It was also nice to have a visit from CLOT bear and it think it should come back to us.... Now I am looking forward to creating instruments. Because it is fun to make stuff.”
Slovenia Children told us a lot about Comenius project. They have discovering countries and their flags. Their teachers informed them about events in other countries through computer, photos and information board. Children told us which countries their teachers visited and what they brought back. They played a lot in kindergarten and creating in working nooks. Parents think that Comenius project is admirable international project, which is spreading children horizons, children gained a lot of new knowledge and skills. Project itself had positive influence on performance of different activities, it has diversified the program in kindergarten, performed activities have enriched children worldliness and they learned spontaneously. Children are richer for new experiences and knowledge. They loved to attend organized activities, interesting, instructive and amusing socializing. They think that activities were different, and teacher used a lot of energy and efforts. Parents complimented on big number of performed group cooperation, creative workshops and activities in which they were involved together with children. Parents liked project information available on our web
site; they also follow articles that were published in mass media. According to their opinion, this makes kindergarten more recognizable. Teachers believe that in time of project they followed novelties, trained foreign languages, discovered different cultures and their life styles. Teachers also acquired new knowledge, discovered how other kindergartens works, their culture and made new friendships. With different experiences and findings, they can follow their innovativeness and creativity. There was a lot of positive motivation present trough the performance of different activities, after that there were also more satisfactions among employees. Teachers also believe that because of differently performed activities children used a lot of their time for creative games. Principal believe that the participation of our kindergarten in this project has present quite a challenge. A lot of effort and free time were put in this project, but it enabled her a rich experiences that she could not get anywhere else. She experienced mobility as a rich personal, cultural and linguistic experience. She liked exchange of opinions, recognition of common needs and solving of potential problems together with other team members. She is pleased that more and more coworkers is recognizing that traditional approaches are not enough anymore for fast changing daily routine. Self-affirmation is also important to her, which she experienced on meetings, because she had different views on certain school systems. As coordinator she is pleased, because team worked well, was connected, new forms of cooperation with parents were established and recognition of kindergarten was improved. She is sure, that introductions of novelties create positive benefits for employees and all others.
At the end, we would like to thank European Commission for funding this project and all of our National agencies for the help and support. We would also like to thank all the teachers, staff, pupils and all other involved persons for hard work, cooperation and all the good times we had together working on this project.