By Kisha & Morgan An idea is like a flame it simmers and swells and anything that touches or is touched by it too becomes engulfed.
For the third day this flame has inspired Graham to return to his idea involving a pvc pipe, stump and cone. He sources his familiar materials and sets out to connect them together in a formation causing the ramp to prop on the stump and angle down into the cone. After setting this up just so, Graham sends sand down the shoot.
K: Along came Conor, hands full of his typical play tools. He often prepares for play by immediately locating the shovel and rake. On this day he came upon the pvc ramp left behind by Graham. This flame was left there simmering and Conors interest added air to the flame. Adding a chair and shifting the angle, repositioning the cone and integrating the shovel into the play add bits of Conors ideas to the ones loaned to him by Graham.
K: Soon Conor picked up the pvc pipe, rake, and shovel and moved on. He arrived at Mrs. Morgan who sat at the edge of the pit. “ can you hold this?” He asked placing the tip of the pipe in her hands. He had propped it almost upright. He began to fill his shovel with sand sending it down the shoot. Kellan observed this and filled his shovel dumping in rhythm with Conor. This idea caught on.
M: The vertical pipe play continued in the pit as Graham and Connor stood it up and added sand at the top to continue to fill the pitcher. As the sand was added in they took turns lifting the pipe up.
K: Conor set up the pvc pipe up against the tunnel, he brought with him a cup of sand and poured it down, he continued to gather sand and dirt nearby pouring it down watching closely and carefully pouring it.
M: Conor and Graham moved to fill other objects, they found this detergent bottle and started pouring sand in. The small hole brought a more of a challenge. “We are going to fill this whole thing up” said Conor.
K: I wonder all of the things Conor and Graham are downloading about gravity, angles, force, speed, tools, capacity, planning, balance, and the list goes on.
M: Graham continues his exploration with tubes, he used this tube to scoop up sand and push it through using his fingers watching as it fell out the bottom.
M: This same tube became a object where he observed trajectory, throwing it all around the playground, watching where it landed.
K: Graham went from balancing pvc pipes to balancing his body over the web climber. The unsteadiness of the web forced him to engage both his large and fine muscles and really work his core. He had to pay attention to his body to find his center of gravity as he moved across the web.
K: Well, it seems as if one spark lit a flame and others joined Graham in his balancing.
M: Logan, Kellan and Ben were stuck in a web, the shouted out for help.
Shortly others arrived to come and help and join in. This became a game where everyone was involved, either being stuck or helping pull out from the web.
M: Kellan and Logan were gathering up weeds and flowers, picking them and feeding them to the “pigs”. Shortly there were three more pigs who joined in. Leia, Harlie and Vida made sounds like pigs as Logan, Kellan and Ben fed them food.
K: Upon entering the classroom the first line of duty is still to check on the hermit crabs. Noticing that only one crab was out at the surface for the last three days, we set out to find the others. Graham announced “hermit crabs don’t drink milk, they drink water, not milk”.
K: When we could not find the others. I wondered out loud if they would come out if it were quiet and dark. We turned out the lights and used a blanket to make the tank really dark. We tried our best to be quiet.
K: To our surprise, the hermit crabs became active in the dark. The children were able to learn first hand how light alters the behaviors of the crabs.
K: Leia noticed the seeds had sprouted! We used pipettes to water each seed. This asks children to share space negotiate turns and carefully navigate squirting water in close proximity to others.
Then we planted grass seeds.
M: Ben and Kellan spent quite some time bonding over the train and car pieces. They lined them up on the floor and discussed each one. They transferred the trains to the top of the shelf, connecting them together in a line.
M: Here Theo, Harlie and Leia pointed out themselves in the pictures.
K: This offers a chance for reflection and dialog and fosters a sense of belonging.
M: Theo and Harlie used the pastels under the climber marking on each other and on the climber.
K: Harlie first drew a round shape starting from the left side up over and around connecting back at her starting spot. The she made small lines from the bottom moving counter clockwise up and around until the entire circumference was marked. She added black markings to the center then added heavy green shading. The. She was done she rubbed her hands over the drawing to cause the pastel to blend.
M: A couple snails were found in the forest. Graham had a snail on a leaf saying how it was eating. The children gathered around the picnic table watching the snails move slowly.
K: Children have such a keen eye for the littlest wonders of the world. The practice focus, slowing down and observing patiently as the little critters teach them about the world around them.
Looking closely at nature together.
Adventure guy Theo, as he is often called in the forest, took up an interest in climbing this tree. He announced that he wanted to climb it and then he pulled and grunted his way up. We never put children onto equipment or natural landscapes. They must only mount things that they themselves can get up on. This gives the child’s muscles the work and practice they need to be able to safely navigate. We also do not hold their hands while they are climbing. They need their hands to climb, they need to be focused on their own bodies center of gravity void of our stabilizin, they need to only go as high as they themselves free safe and capable doing.
Like a flame.. tree climbing caught on.