Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Of Birthdays and Spontaneous Forts

Wow- the end of October is already around the corner. Soon, my big Littleman is turning a great big 6 years old! I am still without a camera cable, so have no new pictures to upload. But, I remembered a bunch of pictures that I took last year, at Littleman's 5th birthday.

(The birthday boy, 5 years old)

(And the Pirate, looking sweet and shaggy.)

It was a gorgeous, perfect October afternoon.

Babyman was having a ball. He was crawling, and loved the warm sun, pinestraw, and all the attention from adoring relatives.

There were bunches of kids running about, and after awhile I noticed a certain "purpose" to their busyness. There was much discussion and collaboration. I looked over, to find an interesting sight.

They were working together to build a small fort. Framed in sticks, "thatched" with pinestraw, it was really an impressive little structure. And, it was growing.

Soon it was attracting admirers. Still, the work continued.

I was impressed with the communication, cooperation and all-around teamwork that was operating to create the fort. Mostly cousins, the kids are a wide range of ages. Everyone put aside differences and simply enjoyed working together to make a great structure and have fun. Older kids let younger kids do their part, while helping ensure that the final product would be structurally sound.

I love thinking about all the skills they were building: teamwork, cooperation, compromise, empathy, assertiveness, problem-solving, creativity, communication, motor skills, hand-eye coordination, leadership. . . Then there's the "school" topics they were covering:

Natural Sciences, Social Studies, P.E., Art, even a little basic Math and oral Language Arts.

Not to mention the pure, healthy benefits of being active outdoors, working with natural materials to create for the pure joy and accomplishment of it.

There were many wonderful artistic touches and details.

It was a perfect project, entirely conceived and executed by the children. The ideal example of the rewards of hours of free play outdoors.

It was my kind of birthday party- outside, in gorgeous weather, with room to roam in natural surroundings, and plenty of wide-open time for plain old play. I'm a slacker party planner- and I like it that way. ;) This year we'll be trying something different, though- hopefully it works out well, and hopefully I'll have my camera working again so I can take lots of pictures!

(sigh) They're growing so fast.


Melynda said...

I love what kids come up with when they are left to their own devices outside!

Kit said...

@ Melynda: Hello, and welcome! Me too!