Hi, I’m Sarah Rankin, Eco Drama’s new Drama Artist for the 2018 Out to Play Early Years project. I am embarking on 4 nursery residencies to journey alongside children and staff to deepen our connection with nature. I will be using Drama and Storytelling to engage Early Years children creatively with the outdoors. I look forward to learning throughout the residencies and sharing resources with nurseries to continue creatively connecting with nature.
Previously, I have worked all over Scotland as a Drama Artist and gained experience overseas in places such as Vanuatu and Mexico. As a Drama Artist I have worked with professional theatres, such as The Citizens and The Macrobert, and organisations, such as PEEK Project, The Village Storytelling Centre and Women’s Aid. I have led Early Years Play Café’s and Crèches for refugees where I have used Drama and Storytelling to build connections, teach English and encourage confidence.
This project is particularly important as more and more research is showing children are not experiencing nature and the outdoors to its full potential. Being in nature, and also participating in Drama and Storytelling, is proven to develop health and wellbeing, fine motor skills, language, confidence, imagination and creative problem solving. Early Years is an ideal age to get outside and truly experience nature in all its wonder and messiness. Children at this age have the best imaginations, most creative brains and bravest ideas. I believe that by encouraging free and risky play outdoors they will grow to be confident in and inspired by nature, whilst also teaching us grown-ups a thing or two.
My wish for the project is to have a lasting legacy of staff knowledge and confidence to use outdoor spaces creatively. Most of all, I hope that the children are left with a sense of magical wonder that instils an everlasting love of nature.