Building Stuff Outside with Kids:

Learning Happens Naturally


November 16, 2011

 


The sun was shining. The kids-- lots of kids-- were outside.

It was simple and inexpensive and fun.

Bamboo (harvested in advance from a grateful neighbor's yard)

Kudzu (pulled by kids from the edges of the schoolyard)

A ball of string

A bale of straw

Two ladders, some pruners and 5 volunteer moms.

We can build three teepees and connect them with tunnels.
Start with a bamboo tripod.
Then add more poles.
Tie securely.
Lots of string.
And lots of hands.
Work together to attach the cross pieces.
Tie those knots tight!
Meanwhile the Kudzu harvesting (invasive removal team) heads out.
This stuff is tough (and fun to pull)!
Loading the wagon with vines.
Now start weaving the vines through the bamboo.
Big kids and little kids all work together.
It takes some planning and some cooperation to weave a long piece in.
Stretch to get the top part woven.
We're building this with our own hands.
Now for the floor-- we want it to be nice and soft.
It's like being in the jungle!
How many different ways can we move through... crab walking!
"Because it's Veteran's Day this week, I'm going to crawl like an army guy!"
Patient children waiting for a turn to crawl through.
One proud class of teepee builders.
 

Over the course of a morning,  second and fourth graders at Fort Belvoir Elementary School came out by classes and built a structure that included three teepees and two tunnels.  In the end, more than 200 children had worked on the project.
 

We removed some invasive plants and in the process kids learned a little bit about what invasives are:

"Plants that don't belong here and are taking over"

A happy teacher:

"They're learning teamwork,  they're solving problems and everyone is happy and busy."

And the ripple effect:

"This was easy, I'm going to try this at home," said a mom.


 

Comments
Be the first to comment!
Registered Visitors
Comment
Email Address
Password

New Visitors
First Name
Last Name
Email Address
 

 

 

 

current post

 

blog archive

 

Signs are the Secret (plus lots of pizza)...
(published)
January 08, 2014 (updated)
Water Gardens...
(published)
October 01, 2013 (updated)
1200 Kids, 1600 Native Plants and 6 Raingardens
(published)
December 05, 2012 (updated)
This Should Happen At All Our Schools
(published)
November 05, 2012 (updated)
Head for the Hills
(published)
October 03, 2012 (updated)
Goobye Mosquitoes!
(published)
August 10, 2012 (updated)
Beautiful Herbs
(published)
August 10, 2012 (updated)
How Nature Welcomes Babies
(published)
July 16, 2012 (updated)
Planting Day
(published)
October 02, 2013 (updated)
Early Childhood Outside
(published)
July 16, 2012 (updated)
The Finishing Touch
(published)
July 16, 2012 (updated)
Create Your Own Outdoor Magic
(published)
July 15, 2012 (updated)
Building Stuff Outside with Kids: Learning Happens Naturally
(published)
July 26, 2012 (updated)
Child's Right to Risk
(published)
July 16, 2012 (updated)
Patching the Playhouses
(published)
July 13, 2012 (updated)
cobhouses ...more
Who Plants the Garden? The 2011 DC Schoolyard Garden Tour
(published)
July 26, 2012 (updated)
Nine Nifty Ideas from San Francisco Green Schoolyards
(published)
July 26, 2012 (updated)
The International Green Schoolyard Conference: What do we have NOW? What do we WISH for? What ACTION will get us there?
(published)
July 16, 2012 (updated)
Welcome to the very first EarlySpace blogpost!
(published)
July 26, 2012 (updated)