Friday, November 14, 2008

Our Waldkind in November

"A child who does not play is not a child,
but the man who does not play has lost forever the child that lived in him."
- Pablo Neruda, Chilean Poet

November must be my favourite month in South Carolina! The leaves are changing colours, it is not too cold yet and we can spend a lot of time outdoors.

This past week, we enjoyed the outdoors at least 4 hours each morning after reading "Forest for a Classroom" in the recent Mothering Magazine and after being re-inspired by the ideals of Waldkindergartens. I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to spend time outside in nature! Our son's playful and creative imagination always amazes us. Outdoors, our son did not need toys at all. We left a few plastic cars lying about - just in case, but they remained fairly untouched. When playing with friends, the children threw rocks, looked for clams and one little girl decided to build a moat that turned into a dam. Alone, our son was quite content playing with and in nature by himself. He hid under a pile of leaves and used a stick as a microphone to sing his heart out for a good 5 to 10 minutes. For a good half-hour, he played with a black rock. He placed it in water and pretended it was a sea lion swimming around. For another good hour, he picked fruits from a bush and decided they were worms he could pretend to eat - they were either 'yucky' or 'yummy'. He would sit by an imaginary birdie and feed it worms too. He also took shelter under trees while it rained and pretended to look for polar bears. We also think it is such a good practical lesson for Waldkinder to learn how to build a fire - and to learn not to fear fire. So, we allowed our almost 2 year old to partake in building one. He learned what was hot and that smoke in your eyes can hurt. Most of all, he enjoyed looking for organic material to feed the fire. Oh, and yes, he did throw in some 'worms' into the flames too.

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