Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tree People and a Tornado

My kids continue to surprise me. I know you probably get tired of hearing reading that. But, every time I think they cannot surprise me again, something happens that just makes me smile (and maybe even drop my mouth open). 

This week I put out these great trees sets I found. I purchased them at a craft store but I think you can find them in the teacher supply stores, too. (Okay, I checked. You can buy these at Amazon, too; it's the Tree Toob.) 

My kids began building and using the trees. They made islands...or maybe like Aunt Annie has said in a comment on a previous post...they were making a museum. 

They've done this kind of thing before. I'm always amused by this type of "building" but I wasn't surprised.

Then one boy decided to use the container that the trees are stored in. He balanced it on one block and filled the container with blocks. (I didn't get a photo before it fell.) Then he decided it needed to be a little more stable, so he used several blocks to hold it up.

I was surprised at his thinking and the solutions that he developed so he could make it do what he wanted to do. 

I left the blocks center to attend to other parts of the room. When I returned, I found that the play had changed again.

"A tornado is coming," the boys said. "We're building a place for the people. The trees are the people."

This was so intriguing to me. I've never seen kids use the containers as part of the building process as much as these kids have. The project took on a community feel as several boys worked together to make it happen.

Soon it was cleanup time...so the tornado came to knock down everything. And then it all went back in those containers.

I love to see the kids thinking in non-traditional ways. Well...maybe I just think they are non-traditional because I haven't thought of them myself before.

I hope these kids can keep their unique viewpoints on the world. I want them to keep seeing new ways of doing things, new ways of using materials. And I want to keep trying to provide different opportunities for them to try new things. But I'm not sure I can keep up!

1 comment:

  1. Scott, you do like your blocks. I do, too. (Maybe you thought I only liked sand and water tables.) One thing I am doing different this year when there is a creative and inventive structure in the block area is to ask the children if they want to leave it up. If they do, we protect it from cleanup. Since I have a new class everyday, it is like a gift to the next class that they can alter any way they want. It has led to some good cross-pollination of ideas between classes.