The boys have spent many busy Fall mornings out under the trees. The woods came alive with lots of building, resource "procurement," and fantastic dramatic play. The theme for September, October and November was "Clans". After a story about creating a home with limited resources , they talked about the meaning of the word "clan" and the children were offered the opportunity to form their own clans and create their own home in the woods. This constructive play evolved over the next few weeks, it was lovely to see the children expand quickly to creating jobs and businesses for themselves. And, of course, Mother Nature never fails to impress.
Home in the Woods by Eliza Wheeler
"Boo Stew" by Donna Washington.
Do You Speak Fish? by DJ Corchin
Play with Purpose:
Motor Skills: Fort building is an excellent way to support gross and fine motor skills. Building on a large scale provides children with diverse movement opportunities. The weight and size of material vary, as do the movements to get them in place "just right".
Sensory Integration: Hauling heavy loose parts and full containers of water provide proprioceptive input through the body's joints, helping build body awareness.
Social Skills: The children began working together in self-organized groups. There was potential for disappointment within the groups and opportunities for conflict resolution as the children worked to agree on how/what to build/create and how to negotiate the use of limited resources.
Cognitive Skills: The children could estimate the necessary materials and problem-solve when their construction didn't go as planned. At the end of each morning, they were asked to share their ideas for items that would allow them to further their creations next week. Their requests ranged from tools to rice cakes to "I need more helpers."