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Monday, October 17, 2011

Camping Play

 When school started up in September, the children started a spontaneous game of playing "camping."
They would pack up the play kitchen food and go into a play hut and say they were camping.  This evolved into making campfires out of blocks and placing the food on the fire. 

Each day there was a little more they would add to their play.  They started to go fishing with the felted fish and frying them up on their little campfires.  I loved this child driven play, and to add new elements to it I made the felted fire in the above picture.  This took on a whole new kind of play because of course we had to roast marshmallow blocks on sticks!  Around that time my mom asked if I wanted a play hut tent that she was getting rid of, perfect timing!  And so, the camping game continued to be a love of ours. 

Then to surprise the children, I asked them if they wanted to make a real campfire. This brought the game outside and added a tasty element because they roasted real marshmallows and made smores.
It was fun having them make the fire pit, stack the wood, and sing campfire songs as we roasted the marshmallows.  I love this about having a school at home, the fact that we are able to be outside making real campfires is a wonderful thing.  I also loved the authenticity of this play and going along with what the children were guiding with their imagination and spontaneity.

For an art project, the next day we took the charcoal from the fire and made drawings with them.  We also did one of my favorite activities with rocks, which is to rub them together with a little water and make rock paint.  The kids loved creating art with natural materials, it is always a thrill, this one in particular because since this project they use the rock paint as face paint during outdoor free play.

A little crayon for the eyes make this charcoal, rock paint, crayon picture complete.

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