Looking at the world through sequins.

Frequently throughout the day, encounters occur that I wish I could capture in their fullness – the spirits of the children involved, the intensity of the negotiations, or the passion behind the artistic expressions.  Suffice it to say that young children are deeply feeling beings, and they have no social stigma about announcing to the world in all their passion exactly how it is that they are feeling.  Pure joy or raw creativity – it is all wrapped up in such a small body, looking for expression.  Occasionally, I am able to capture some of the emotion through pictures. Here are some of the shots from the last week or two.

 

This cluster of friends is deeply absorbed in their puzzle.  They have chosen to use a muffin tin to sort all of the colors out before tackling the task of fitting all of the geometric shapes into place.

 

The chefs!  We made oatmeal bread one morning from leftover oatmeal.  We used the bread machine to knead the dough (cheating, I know), and it was almost a disaster several times, but in the end…mmm.  Delicious!

 

Creative use of paint – an idea that Tekoa came up with one morning while she was painting.  I turned around to see her working hard to squeeze the bottle and run a solid line along her brush strokes.  A waste of paint?   I think not.

 

I have to sneak in one picture to prove that I am here and hard at work.  I do look hard at work, right?

 

A house made of boxes.

 

I hope you are lucky enough to build a box tower three times your size and use all your strength to kick it over.  Talk about feeling powerful!

 

Metal tins, magnets, bolts, nuts, and small screws.  Major fine motor skill work to create these magnet creatures!  At one point, the crew even pulled out tweezers to pick up the small screws.  Whew!  That is a workout.

 

Yet another use for boxes.  Here, Christian is playing “mail.”  One child crawls into a box and gets delivered via the mail to another child, who opens the box and discovers a friend!

 

We were the fortunate recipients of twenty of these 6 foot cardboard carpet tubes.  The crew discovered a few of them arranged like this one morning with a basket of ping pong balls at the top of the slide.  The tubes have lived many lives in our space – balance beams, ramps for cars and balls, an accidental teeter-totter, the pole for fire fighters to slide down in an emergency (yes, they are that strong!), looking tubes, talking tubes, and more!  Thanks to Bachmeier Interiors and Kathy Ropp for your donation to our program!

 

This was the genius result of placing all of the art materials on the table one morning with the instruction to explore.  Cadence asked, “Can we use these?” (the medicine dispenser/plunger/syringes…whatever you want to call them!  She used them to suck glue from one spot and deposit it in another.  Have you ever tried to suck glue with one of these instruments?  A wonderful blend of fine motor and gross motor skills — it takes some serious control and muscle to make it work!  In the future, these are materials that I will set out together.

 

Trying to get the feathers off of sticky fingers!

 

Planting wheat grass.

 

Sometimes, you have to stand on a chair.

 

We built a “waterfall” one day.  Here, Cadence and Tekoa are testing the first couple of drops.  We discovered the plan needed some modifications.

 

Checking to make sure everything is smooth and running properly.

 

I found Cadence and Tekoa under the table this week with a set of trip samples, the basket of cars, a handful of unifix cubes, and some golf tees.  They created a race track with stoplights.  Three cheers for open-ended materials!  (And, I must plug Reusable Usables again…thanks for the fantastic trim collection!)

 

A different angle showing the track with its many parts.

 

The stoplights.

 

And just to show that it’s not always smiles.  Simone was very much missing her daddy after naptime. I had the camera out for something else, and she wanted me to take a picture of her so she could see herself.  We spent some time looking at the emotion on her face – the sad frown, the eyebrows, the tear – and we discussed how we know from a person’s face how they’re feeling.  She’s feeling better now, don’t worry.

 

Hope you had a week half as full as ours but just as joyful!