PlayScapes: The Secret Forest

A short trail walk led us to our “Home Base”.

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Little did we know that a treasure trove awaited us–a plethora of sticks lying on the ground.

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With three sticks in each hand, a child holds up his right hand, “This is thunder”, and then his right, “This is fire”.  I could only imagine the creative sparks that were firing up in his mind.

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We walked on the trails.  First accompanied by a caregiver, then the children were excited to go all on their own!!!

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We found twirly sticks

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And seed pods

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And snail shells

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It was a peaceful spot.

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There weren’t any trees, rocks, or hills to climb.

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And because the risk was so minimal, the children felt very safe.  And because they felt very safe and sure, their play was focused and intense.

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This intensity brings about a good feeling.   It is why people say that play is the Life Force of childhood.  If you’re a painter, cook, or runner you would know about this Life Force. The intensity and concentration is similar to play in that one gets so focused that the rest of the world fades away and hours can go by like minutes.

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The experience is grounding and centering for the soul.  Too often, adults forget this feeling. But for children, it is a natural state of being.  So if we squash it out by thinking that children need to move on with the “real stuff”,

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think again because this is the real stuff.

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