It all started the first week as we enjoyed relaxing and getting to know each other in our hammocks. So many of the children enjoyed the gentle rocking, and it reminded Arlow of an earlier project he had dreamed up before at Early Explorers — a swing!
Soon many of our friends were engaged in this idea, talking about what we would need to build it. Rope, wood, string, and tools were among many of the items we would need. The next week we drew pictures, dreaming up ideas of unicorn swings, flat swings, standing swings and more. We also found a couple of pieces of rope in our classroom and tried tying them to a tall tree branch. This worked well, but it was hard to hold ourselves up.
The next week we found a large piece of wood and a big bag of rope. We used the rope, wood, and with the help of our teacher, tied a big swing to the tree branch. The problem was this swing was wobbly, and hard to tie up! Ms. Brittany then proposed using a tire. We tried our third and final swing, a tire swing. It worked well and many of the children took turns pushing each other and laughing. Our swing became a source of joy, laughter, and imagination.
Watching the children collaborate on a meaningful project early in our time together showed the sense of community each of our Explorers felt immediately in our classroom. Following their interests, the children were supported in their creative undertaking through help, facilitation, and supplies. Most of all, we found a new and creative way to be outside! We had the privilege to engineer fun out of simple yet exciting materials.