Gathering Leaves

It’s the season for the ‘jungee badam’ tree to shed it’s leaves, once again.

This is the time when we gather the beautiful fallen leaves – red, brown, ochre, burnt orange and russet and string them into all manner of curiosities.

There are pouches secretly carrying a tiny rock and seed or hair wreaths encircling happy heads. Bracelets are fashioned and among the more adventurous – belts, crowns and collars!

Pouches, belts, bracelets and wreaths .... ... hair wreaths ...... crowns

... belt ...

v - wreath

... more belts ...

v collar

Gathering Leaves

~ Robert Frost

Spades take up leaves

No better than spoons,

And bags full of leaves

Are light as balloons.

I make a great noise

Of rustling all day

Like rabbit and deer

Running away.

But the mountains I raise

Elude my embrace,

Flowing into my arms

And into my face.

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Theory of Loose Parts In Action

As a follow up to my post on the theory of loose parts and the natural playscape, I thought I’d share some of the goings-on during playtime.

Free play at school has been becoming more and more creative and inventive of late. What’s more, we have noticed increased co-operation and fewer fights between the children.

Here’s what the children have been up to:

They have been gathering fallen flowers, leaves, sour clover, cast-away bamboo from their wood working, broken pots and anything else they can forage to make their own ‘shop’.

Everything can be bought for a few rocks and they are most generous with granting discounts!

The shop is open!
Hard at work – the pile of rocks in the corner is the ‘money’ they have collected for their wares
Hurry! Just a few items left
Beware the money safe – all the rocks are under the pots. If you try to get to it you will topple the precariously balanced sticks on top and leave a tell tale sign!

Meanwhile, the sandpit is coming alive with other wonders. A found bottle, bamboo sticks, left over bricks from our amphitheatre and a few broken pots is all it takes!

a plastic bottle, 2 tyres and sand become a truck
… and there exists an internal structure as well – bamboo sticks hidden in the sand are the pipes of the engine!
… but what does one do with all these bricks?
…. why, build a house ofcourse!
… and the wolf ? Well, he can huff and he can puff but he can’t bring this house down …

“In any environment, both the degree of inventiveness and creativity, and the possibility of discovery, are directly proportional to the number and kind of variables in it.” ~ Simon Nicholson