As a home educator I spend quite a lot of time mining the web for other people's good ideas. I feel fortunate that so many inspired poeople are willing to share and while I also like to come up with ideas of my own and am very aware that what works with some chidlren won't suit mine, it is great to be able to share so many resources.
So today, following on from my previous post about play I'd like to share a new space we created in our garden last week thanks to an idea from this blog that we came to via The Imagination Tree's facebook page. The idea is to create a backdrop for play with figurines or playmobil or why not lego or even blocks but outside, using materials found outdoors. My kids play a lot with playmo and schleich horses as well as small wooden dolls. We have a homemade doll's house, stable and a beach scene (inside a wine crate) for playing with these figures indoors. Creating an outdoor space for that play especially as the days warm up really appealed to me.
First I found some old wooden crates - we keep a lot of them around for starting our fire. I used them to create a little table and then I went about gathering goodies ; a few shells, a hunk of tree trunk, some leaves, interesting stones and a pinecone or two. I explained what I was doing while the kids watched at first and then began gathering their own contributions. I arranged it all on the table and then left the kids to go find some ponies etc and get stuck in.
I'm sure this spot is going to evolve over time as the kids make it more and more their own. I'm confident it's going to be a great place both for playing alone and playing together. Oh and it's ideally situated so I can be close by when needed while hanging out the laundry or sitting and knitting or why not joining in too!