Recently I was watching a group of children playing in some slow flowing rapids. Some were sitting on the rocks watching as the water tumbled over the rocks, others were skimming little stones across the water and a few were gathering rocks and using them to create homes for animals.
As I watched I noticed that they were engrossed in this world of make believe and I started thinking how I used to play when I was younger. If I was outside I didn’t need entertaining or lots of commercial toys. I was happy gathering sticks and stones, making fairy houses and playing with my friends.
I started looking closely at the tiny stones in this river. Some were smooth, others slightly jagged and some were varied in colour.
I played around with the rocks and created some different ideas with them. As I pottered around with the objects I was thinking that this activity would lend itself to enhancing fine motor development.
Nature Ant! I found some sticks that were segmented, so they worked perfectly for the legs! As you can see I used a thick white wood glue to attach the various pieces.
Inspired by Andy Goldsworthy!
Lady in a jeweled dress!
I thought about how I would incorporate these ideas into the classroom. I could discuss with the children the different stones, their colours, similarities, differences, shape and texture. We could talk about the photographs and why rocks are smooth and how nature fashions them through the constant flow of the water. Photographs of the area were the stones had been found would help children have a point of reference. Changing the photos from A4 to A3 allows the photos to be displayed in a corner of the classroom. I would then add the stones, bark, sticks, twigs and black card for children to come and choose items to create a naturescape. A gallery walk would be a great way for children to view other children’s ideas and share their own creations.