Friday, August 19, 2011

Nature and creativity intertwined

This summer we've visited farms, ponds and the ocean as much as possible. In our daily trips, I have loved observing the little one and her friends invested in their free play. Story telling, inventing, negotiations and creating (spaces, structures, scenarios, characters...) often reach a peak while outdoors, while most quarrels are avoided or die out pretty quickly.

Paths to get lost in... Codman Farm. dance..
...or just to be a chicken.

Making forts at the Boston Nature Center

Takes teamwork!
Feeding the chickens at Natick Cooperative Farm
Working together...
and feeding the pig.
Running through a field of flowers,
And taking a big leap!
Creating an island... at  Walden Pond,  
after complaining that they had no buckets or shovels to play with!
All they needed were some sticks to create trees, surrounded by a large ocean
and an island made of rocks, in the shape of a flower.
Finding these places has been at times a matter of living in the area and knowing what is available, finding out through friends or just spending a little time on the internet. It has been definitely worth providing as many opportunities for the little one and her friends to play freely in the great outdoors. They have expanded their horizons, getting to know about farm and animal life, our food sources, wild life and habitats, or just about how to explore creativity in nature, with no need for a shovel or a bucket.

I continue to work on learning from observing their play, keeping my distance and trying not to interfere, or to keep my interjections to a minimum. I see my role as the one who does the listening, planning, food preparation and chauffeuring... In return, I get to practice mindfulness. Being in the moment is the gift these children bring to me.

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