The children have been busy creating our tent on the stage with multiple fabrics that keep getting re-hung as needed to provide shade. It began as an extension of Aaron’s ‘tying’ project that he’s taken all over the school starting on the lower deck, moving to the upper deck, then down to the stage, now woven around the redwood grove (ala ‘Christo’!). He was in the garden and began weaving yarn in the fence. He then used twine around the stage poles and wanted to find a way for the twine to stay “up”. This engagement down at the stage became an invitation for the other children to explore this side of the garden. Being 3 & 4 years old and new to the school, the children tended to want to expand their play slowly since there was so much to do and take in with the music studio, art studio, playroom, sand play, upper garden and deck areas.
They soon wanted to picnic on the stage but the sun was just too hot. I brought large colorful fabrics down to add to the very colorful sheer fabrics already draped on the poles. The children said, “it needs to be up more“. Aaron’s twine was too low and kept slipping down. We inserted screw eyes in the poles and hung fabric. There was great excitement when we brought the basket of costumes down to the stage one day and everyone dressed up in so many colored garb! Aaron was interested in ironing some material with the new irons I brought down. Then he found a way to use his necklace as a pulley. This was no surprise given that he has spent several weeks working on his pulley project on the deck!
It is always inspiring when we see children making connections from one material to another … referred to as the many “languages” of children in the Reggio Approach. Aaron’s tying project merged into the pulley project that has merged into tent making on the stage.
After numerous tent designs the children are starting to want more involvement. The tent we put up was too high for them to make their own versions. They had a conversation about roofs and Anna said, “We need a roof!” and one that they could make themselves. We purchased more screw eyes so the children could build their tent roof at their own level. They discussed and measured their height and arm reach abilities, talked about the sun’s angles and rain, wove twine through the holes, hung fabric, and then … we had a picnic on our sun protected stage under our newly lowered tent!
The concept of constructing a “roof” has emerged in the playroom as some of the children are wanting almost daily time with the geckos outside of their tank. In the gecko ‘play area’ the children are experimenting with making ‘gecko caves’ and talking about roofs and types of enclosures. This is another interest area the children may broaden into a project. We will discuss and see over time.