Advocacy, Childhood, Nature Play, Programming

Just a pile of sticks?

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Earlier this week one of our amazing educators bought in a stack of branches that had recently been cut down. Perfectly straight and smooth, these quickly attracted interest from the children. On the first day they used them to create structures in the sandpit, the next day to make a large cubby in the yard. At various times, children were observed carrying them around the yard, picking up different branches (appearing to compare the weights of them!)It really reminded me what I love about our yard. We have created a space that really doesn’t require any equipment to be put out. It encourages the children to explore the natural environment and to be creative with resources. Just this week I have loved watching a group of girls creating “cakes” with dirt from the garden and water from our rainwater tanks, watched a little one make a “fire” on our herb hill (as he scooped up rocks and bark and piled them up, it created dust clouds which he likened to smoke! I also love watching the kids climb and just hang out in the trees! It was particularly exciting to see an art book up a tree today – evidence of some creative little being using the natural environment to their advantage…it just makes me smile!
A little tricky to see – but evidence of creativity up a tree!

If you didn’t get any equipment out in the outdoor environment…what would the children do? Do you have open ended, natural materials for them to explore? How do they use them?