PlayScapes – The Mahogany Forest

IMG_2444I am always curious of how the children’s play will unfold upon arrival. Will they make up a hiding game, running behind the majestic Mahogany trees? Will they gather leaves and throw them up into air? What will the magic of their imaginations create this time? Well, it was the mahogany seed pods that caught their interest. They first discovered a few on the ground.  “What are these?”  they ask us.  Then the children discovered the pods hanging on the branches in the trees.IMG_2461IMG_2454IMG_2455IMG_2445They began collecting– some pods were far out of reach so the children collaborated and made plans on how to get them down. They soon acquired a heap–“You’ve got to come and see this!!”IMG_2446IMG_2451IMG_2439After lunch, the pods were forgotten as the children found a field of tall grass. A game was created.  Some were tigers.  Others were the chasers.IMG_2474IMG_2473IMG_2472IMG_2469IMG_2468IMG_2466

I love PlayScapes.  I love the adventure and mystery of what the next landscape will hold.  And while four-year-olds across the nation are placed in groupings imposed by the instructor, working on tasks to learn to work together and share ideas, these little PlayScapers make their own groupings.  IMG_2463IMG_2475IMG_2439IMG_2441They solve problems that are meaningful.  Collaboration?  It happens all morning without directives and rules imposed by an adult.  This is how the creative process is guided and nurtured.  

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