"the world is my rope swing"

I was tempted to NOT write any post to go with this title as it is oh-so-lovely on its own. However, credit for the quote should be given. So, here is the story.
I am a lucky blogger in that I occasionally happen upon friends' stories or photos that capture my attention and I ask if I can share them with Zella readers.
This is just such a case.

"T" on one of his adventures - boots, cape and absolute focus while balancing on a log.
My dear friend and former colleague Megan has an adventurous 5-year-old boy "T" who loves exploring and inventing.

This is Megan's recap of how the quote from "T" came about:

"It all came about while we were driving to school the other morning. He enjoys playing with ropes. They become anything from snakes, weapons, tools and in this case, zip lines. While driving, he had tied a rope to the passenger head rest in front of him and the other end to the safety handle. He said he made a zip line and had a little ninja figurine sliding down it. Then he noticed the slack of the rope and that it made another zip line, just shorter. He began joking around that I got the short zip line. I went with the joke and it made him laugh to think he had a longer zip line than me. He then proceeded to share the longer one with me and began talking about various lengths of zip lines."
The quote came after his playing with his ninja figurine and creating the zip line:

As an advocate for children to make their own play choices and to be an active agent in making meaning of their world, I had one of those crinkly smiles on my face when I had first read "T"s quote and Megan's story. THIS is what I would wish for all children: The sense of freedom to create, the continued drive to play and be playful, and the gift to trust in one's relationship to something as an individual.
"T" seems to know at age 5 that he has power and has a place in the world - with or without a rope swing.

[ My special thanks to Megan and "T" for allowing me to share a slice of their family life here on Zella. Cheers to more adventures with ropes and ninjas. ]

" we're in ireland "

Children are story tellers and live their own stories.

Two girls, ages 3 and 4, went on an extended adventure one afternoon in the school yard.

They brought one clipboard, two pencils, and a huge stack of white and yellow paper.
As they traveled along, they would giggle and run and giggle more. At one point, they sat down in the sand area and took out their clipboard. A teacher asked if they would like anything written down: "Yes!" 
This is the story they shared:

"We're in Ireland. We are going to skate, eat fortune cookies, see the big ornaments, drink hot cocoa and eat bagels."

And, off they went.

Where did your children go today?

just playing? big swirl painting

This post is the 7th in the series called "Just Playing?" Please join fellow bloggers in the series as we offer photo prompts of PLAY to provoke group reflective practice and give voice to the developmental values that are imbedded in play. Scroll to bottom of post to link up and to see who else has joined the series!

Just Playing.
We have all heard this before, and maybe even said it ourselves: The children are "just playing".   [gasp!]

However, as early childhood educators, we really do know better than that.
Research knows better than that, too. Play is the healthiest and most authentic way children learn about themselves, about others and about the world they live in. A great Play resource is The National Institue for Play led by founder Dr. Stuart Brown.

This week's highlighted photo focuses on a 3 year old boy at the easel. He focus and exploration with the painting tool - the brush - and his use of the large space of the paper is impressive.

Questions for consideration:

What is happening in the photos?
Who are the players?
What materials are present?

What are the developmental values embedded - possibly - in the scenarios?

Why is any of this play important? 


just playing This post is part of a Blog Hop! 
"Hop" on over to all of the other bloggers who are sharing photos of children learning through play this week:
If you are looking for more of our “Just Playing?” posts and resources from around the globe, please visit our Pinterest Board.
Are you a blogger? Would you like to join the JUST PLAYING? blog hop community?
You can join the hop via our Facebook Group: Just Playing?