Creative Works started in 2012 as a community based initiative, which offered extramural creative workshops for children ages 5 to 13.
The workshops were initiated from an observed need: a lack of early stimulation for children living in high risk areas resulting in low skills levels, a high dropout rate of children, as well as drug use resulting in children not being able to engage in school related and age appropriate play activities.
The creative workshops inspired the development of a school-based programme focussing on early learning and equipping young children in the pre-school environment with the necessary skills to enter the school environment well prepared and ready to engage when starting Grade 1. We work with children, teachers and parents in the Foundation Phase, kindergarten environment and offer support in and outside the classroom where needed.
We offer educational programs and support to schools, crèches, ECD centers in the form of:
Occupational Therapy services in the framework of the School readiness program for pre school children
After school program - creative workshops
Teacher and Parents support
What do we want to achieve?
To bring creativity and fun into all aspects of the learning process, set children up for success from an early age and build the foundation for children to engage physically, emotionally and intellectually with all aspects of life.
The early years of a child’s development are crucial and formative years. These years are the very foundation for the child’s future. We believe by investing into early education for children and their families we are investing into the future of our communities and societies. Together we can grow into strong, healthy, balanced and competent people.
We believe that when we provide children with holistic support in their early years of development and give their caregivers tools to enhance their children’s development with recources that are available to them , we can set children up for long-term success in both academic learning and for life.
Creative Works aims to promote a nurturing, safe and stimulating environment for young children to explore their creative potential. We use movement, sensory stimulation, play, stories and storytelling as well as art making as a tool to engage educational themes that are valid and developmentally appropriate in the child’s life.
We are aiming to connect children with their creativity and bring fun into the learning process through a child centred and child directed approach.
We aim to offer a platform for children to express themselves without judgement and practice life skills in a safe environment.
Within each of us is a creative force that is there to be unlocked and which can be a tool for empowerment.
Early Learning Program:
The Creative Works Early Learning Program is currently offered at Die Bron Primary in Stanford, at Funimfundo Preschool just outside of Stanford at Die Kop informal settlement, and at Masakhane Primary in Gansbaai.
The early learning program is run by a qualified and registered Occupational Therapist and provides small group intervention as well one on one OT for children with special educational needs .
The main focus of the early learning program is to assist young children in acquiring all the necessary skills for school readiness by using creative tools, movement and play activities to enhance overall development.
In a kindergarten or school based setting, we work with the children, their teachers and parents towards assisting learners with fine and cross motor challenges, perceptual problems, sensory processing difficulties or developmental delays.
These underlying skills ensure that children can participate fully and to their best potential in school key activities including handwriting, reading, concentrating on the task at hand, holding a pencil or brush and using it adequately, paying attention in class and being able control their emotions, express themselves freely and feel emotionally balanced and secure.
We work in small group settings and focus on developing fundamental skills that are needed for learning. The groups are run by the Occupational Therapist with community assistance as well as volunteers from the STAR literacy program.
In addition we offer classroom interventions and workshops for teachers on a variety of themes and offer consultation and workshops for parents on themes such as enhancing child development via play at home, using every day material for play, nutrition, early childhood learning and support in the home.
Our main focus is to support learners and their families in the framework that is accessible to them. Our desire is to see children succeed and participate in school and in every day live to their full potential.
The skills development groups are an extension of the Early Learning Program and are offered for foundation phase learners in a small group setting on a weekly basis.
The aim is to give learners who are entering the school environment additional support in the transition from kindergarten into school. The content of the groups focuses on developing fundamental skills via creative activities, movement, play and sensory stimulation.
The Creative Workshops are community-based workshops for children to explore their creativity in a safe space. The creative workshops offer an open and safe space for children from 6 to 12 years old on a weekly basis in Stanford as well as Masakhane, Gansbaai.
The motivation for starting the workshops came from observing young children being bored, involved in drugs at an early age, showing tendencies for violent behaviour, and being uninspired and adrift in an environment that does not offer many choices or resources to deal with the harshness it presents.
Inspiration can come from anywhere and everywhere.When we are inspired we can transform ourselves, our thoughts and the way we look at our circumstances because inspiration is a driving force that keeps us going.
The workshops started with the idea to inspire children to create – a picture on a piece of paper, a bead necklace, a tower with wooden blocks or a collage using images from magazines. These are all reflections that show the inner beauty of the child and in this reflection the children can find themselves.
Being connected to one’s creativity gives an opportunityto interact and engage with the demands of the environment in an innovative and flexible way. Nurturing the creative spirit of young children is an exciting and alive way to teach many skills that enable them to move in the world with strong roots, a sense of themselves.
The underlying and most important question that we are asking ourselves working with children is:how can we inspire them?
Parent’sEducation and Support
Parents are their children’s first teachers and role models and we feel that it is essential to equip parents with the knowledge and skills in order to support their children’s development at home.
Our passion is to offer a platform for parents to explore their own creativity, experience play with their children and establish close bonds that can nurture children towards healthy development and good emotional stability.
Every parent has the necessary resources to be a role model, friend and guide for their children. We want to assist parents, no matter their educational or cultural background, to unlock their inner resources and use simple everyday tools to connect with their children and prepare them for the school environment via human interaction, kindness and quality time spend together. The tools we use are language, the senses, and movement, art and everyday activities.
We are offering parents and caregivers an inner Resource Course that stretches over the duration of one year. By the end of the course parents will have explored their own creativity via arts and craft activities. These activities can be taken into the home and be used to offer to their own children.
The course content explores play and movement activities, practical and creative tools to teach conceptual knowledge in the home for reading and writing preparation. We are exploring themes such as emotional aspects of parenting, fears, insecurities and inner solutions we can tap into. The groups meet once per month and parents are guided through activities in a hand on approach in order to bring learning via play into their children’s live at home.