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Exploring naturally as children do

July 18, 2017

I was in a school, it is the last week of the year during which the children have studied growing things, plants, insects, amphibians, reptiles, fish, mamals and birds. I have taken groups out into the school garden each week, digging, weeding, building irrigation systems, planting potatoes, onions, corgettes and a few lettuces and harvesting fruit.  Possibly, we could have grown more produce, but just allowing the children to use tools to keep the weeds down, explore the wildlife (those jumping froglets) seemed quite enough for them, each week brought a squeal of delight from someone.

So back to today, a treat, free time in the woodland area. Why this area is so underutilized is beyond me? What joy radiated from the children, beaming smiles everywhere. So what were they doing? Stretching themselves, answering questions floating around in their brains or forming more as they built dens, moved boulders from one pit to another (one little boy had put a huge bolder into his truck) Some, so emersed in their game had to be reminded to move out of the sun to the shade “that’s better its not so hot here”. As still as a statue, another sat and sketched. A group of girls sat together in earnest discussion, writing lists.   Some encountered a nettle, ouch, but found a dock leaf, phew. All 75 were occupied, no arguments, just teamwork, discovering the pleasure of fast and furious problem solving or taking a bit of time and space to observe and reflect. Will this den stay up? How could we extend our den? How do we make it big enough to fit us all? El, move over, so that D can fix the pegs. So much laughter, P, A, D to name a few, explored ‘What is the funniest way to roll down this slope?’ Just having fun… So many caught a spider, and oh the thrill of catching a woodlouse on a piece of bark. Wandering with a magnifing glass, I wonder, what did you see?

It was a real object lesson in how much children discover and learn when they are outdoors, how they explore what is important to them in that moment.

What a valuable resource nature is, somewhere, where, we are all able to find our place.

 

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In the moment

 

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