This post was originally posted on my website on 24th Sept 2010
I was sorting through some files of pictures today when I came across this series of pictures from earlier in the year. I really like that you can see the thought processes that this group of 3 and 4 year olds are working through. First one boys tries to lift a log, and finding it too heavy calls his best friend over to help him. They involve a growing group of willing helpers but are still unable to move the big heavy log. Another boy who had been on the peripheries of the action comes over with a thinner but still long log which they carry together.
What I really like about this series is not just the story it tells of co-operation, problem solving, friendships and camaraderie. But it reminds me how, when I am working outdoors with a group of children that there are three initiators of activity. I will often be the one to introduce and idea, or a springboard for action. Sometimes the children lead the direction and I follow on. But the third initiator, the one that both the children and I take our inspirations from, is the affordance offered by the environment we are in.
A massive log is an invitation to test your strength, test your balance
take an imaginary journey
or take a rest.
Once you accept the invitation the adventure can begin.
When you start looking around, the invitations are everywhere…..