About the workshop "Creativity of the children”

Bergen aan Zee, The Netherlands

International Janusz Korczak Youth Meeting
Interview of Anouk and Mascha Brink
following their workshop presented on September 23
IJK News, Ewelina Mianowska

Anouk and Mascha Brink
EM: Hello! I’m Ewelina Mianowska. I’m from the french association of Janusz Korczak. I wanted do make an interview with you about the workshop that we did today together. Can you present yourself at the beginning?
AB: I’m Anouk Brink and I’m professional educator. Right now, I’m working as the pre-school teacher. I’m working with the young children, from 2 to 4 years old. Before that, I was a family councillor. I’m also a mother of two young children. And I’m member of the Dutch Association of Janusz Korczak.
MB: I’m Mascha Brink. I’m art therapist. I also work with the children in the primary school having emotional behavior problems. I also work as a psychomotion coach where I use the gateways as in workshops.

EM: So, we did together a lot of activities during this workshop. How did you make your decision when you are choosing the activities? What was the idea behind that?
AB: We wanted to offer people the experience to do the exercises themselves, but also that they are able to do that with the children together. So that is why we picked the crayons and the water paintings because they can never go wrong and that s of course very important for children. The same is with the clay, you can always see something in figure that you made. And of course the gateways, there are 36 different patterns so we had to choose the most impressive for the children. Like strong as a bear, angry as a tiger. So animals that the children will like and that they will understand.
MB: We wanted to give the participants of workshop this feeling of connection with themselves, their creativity, and their childhood. So express themselves, be like the children, play, make fun and see that they can do the same things with kids.

EM: And you were also saying that the origin of this project came from Mrs Or Bagin, an isrealien woman living in Holland. How did you meet her?
AB: We know her for a long, long time and we started to do classes with her. And she developed this method through the years that we were students with her. She was then like a friend of us.

EM: Yes, this project is very interesting. I enjoyed it very much, and I think my colleagues also. But we are adult. How do children react?
AB: Usually, they enjoy doing that. They are less hesitant. Like adults who are hesitating They are asking themselves: Can I do that? Can I use my voice? Can I scream? Can I make a funny sound? Children don’t need this encouragement, they will just do that. But of course with the adults you can go to the deeper parts. For children it s much more difficult and you have to keep it short.

EM: And where you’re doing this kind of activities? At schools or as the extra activities?
AB: Mostly, it’s as the extra activities. It’s not yet at schools.

EM: And the last question, how do you see Korczak in this kind of activities?
AB: For me, it starts with what Korczak said: "you have to learn to know yourself before you can educate children." All the things we were doing over here, it’s a way of getting to know yourself much more better. He also says that you have to have a contact with the child in yourself like the book "being little again", imagine how it is being a child. Then you know how the child speaks, etc. For me, there is a connection. And of course Korczak was always busy with the theatre, music. So he would say, that is very interesting to do this kind of things with children. Playing, making some kind of theatre, when you are playing animals.

EM: Thank you very much for this short interview and for that inspiring workshop that you did it with us.

Ewelina, France-Poland

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