Leigh Tesch

Biography

Leigh Tesch has a background in Occupational Therapy, storytelling and arts and health projects. She was the Program Co-ordinator with the Fostering Creativity program.

ABSTRACT

Incorporating creative art materials and activities in our work with young children can open up ways of communicating, encourage learning, and support relationship development between caregivers and children. This is a practical hands-on workshop with accessible art-based activities, sharing some ideas and techniques that the presenters have used in their work in the Fostering Creativity program.

It is well recognised that creative play is vital for young children’s physical, emotional, sensory and brain development. Creative experiences can also be an important way for children and their parents or caregivers to develop relationship and communication.
The Fostering Creativity Program offered a creative approach in working with children and families. It provided artist led workshops for children with their parents or foster carers with practical art making and story making activities. The program focused on children aged 0 to 6 years in out-of-home care. Through promoting a child-led co-creation approach, the program aimed to extend children’s innate creative ability and foster resilience, improved developmental and educational outcomes. The program increased the skills and confidence of care-givers and parents in providing creative experiences for young children, as a way to build their relationship with their child.
Fostering Creativity also offered training and staff development sessions for workers working with vulnerable families in the community sector and with those in out of home care. Feedback from these sessions were very positive.
This workshop will explore the value of engaging in creative activities, for ourselves and for the children and the families in our care. It will offer a practical experience of the program.
Fostering Creativity was a 2 year program, funded through the Sidney Myer Foundation. It was part of Creative Connections in the Early Years project, initiated through a partnership of the Tasmanian Early Years Foundation and the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, and providing opportunities for young children and their families to experience and develop their creativity through the arts.

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