Tuesday, September 15, 2015

and we're back...with a new addition

It's a few weeks into the new school year and I am not at school. Such a strange feeling. And pretty wonderful, since I'm home with the most adorable three month old.

That face!

I'm loving mamahood...but have to admit it felt strange to not be researching, reading, and generally re-inspiring myself once August rolled around. But now - with 9 weeks of maternity leave left before heading back into the classroom I find myself, once again, reading and researching while the little one naps. It's amazing how much I need this. I imagine every teacher does. Each year brings a new beginning and with that such excitement for what can be

This blog began as a space (years ago) for me to share my reflections and has played such a vital role in my growth as an educator. I must say that over the last three years it has been difficult to come back to writing here...and to stick with it. Not that my reflections ended or my growth stopped. Maybe, with several years under my belt I felt less need to write and reflect on my practice. I'm not sure...I know it just felt difficult. 

Now feels like another new beginning. A time of being a mother and educator. Uncharted territory. Another natural moment where deeper reflection feels necessary.

So for now - while not in the classroom - I hope to share my thoughts, readings, and inspirations.

This site taps into a great interest of mine. Outdoor play spaces and adventure playgrounds have been on my mind for quite some time. I ordered one of the books mentioned on this website and it is proving to be an inspiring read. 

Something that really struck me is Bengstsston's belief that adventure playgrounds would really take off and become mainstream - with these dedicated spaces being embraced in many cities and towns. This has not happened but it points to the power of passion. Outdoor play spaces were Begsston's passion - how could you go on without the hope and belief that an idea is best practice and will take root in society? This book was published in 1972 so what he likely could not imagine is how the idea of risk, play, and independence and the litigation-loving society (in the U.S. at least) would essentially give rise to risk-free outdoor play spaces. 

We currently live in Europe and outdoor play spaces do have more risk - at least compared to the playgrounds of the U.S. But as someone who would love to visit an adventure playground - there is still not one nearby. The nearest is a two hour drive away. When our little one is walking, talking, and able to pick up a hammer we will certainly be making the drive there. 

Fire, hammers, and a build-it-yourself adventure playgrounds will not be part of our preschoolers daily experience any time soon - nor would I necessarily want that - but there are ideas and inspiration that can be taken from such a book - such a concept. That is where I am now...what can make it into our preschool outdoor experiences? 

With that said...here's hoping one day we can make it to Wales to this special place. 

The Importance of Playing With Fire (Literally) from Play Free Movie on Vimeo.

Do you have any experience with such outdoor play areas?

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