Dec 14, 2016

Winter Wild Rumpus, Week 2

What changes and new adventures did we see in week 2 of the Winter Wild Rumpus?  Read on!

Almost immediately, as soon as we were done with the opening activities, the same child who put a pool on top of the carts last week to make a "house" went to try it again.  Unfortunately, we'd placed the carts a little wider than last time and the pool didn't span the gap. Instead, she propped the pool up on the side of the carts to make a "lean-to" kitchen, then she developed a new plan for the roof:

 Bedsheet + clamps!  Plus, check out the "hardwood floor" she laid this week, complete with a carefully crafted front edge that lines up despite offset planks!
A tour of the inside reveals curtains (with extra fancy tulle swoops at the top) that provide "privacy" for the "bedroom" (bottom shelf of the cart).
More play after the jump!

Here is an elaborate tea party, from beginning of construction through the end.

Watch and listen to the video to find out what she's building here -- a handy addition to any tea party!

Near the end of the event, one mom showed me her son's Play Story.  She had asked him to list his favorite things from today's program and the first thing he said was "The kids!"  This was a pleasant surprise to his mom because he's usually very shy and reserved around other unfamiliar children.  He apparently also listed the tea party as a highlight and his mother pointed out that he was still holding on to his imaginary teacup as they were wrapping up and heading out the door.  Definitely engaged in his play world today, hooray!

Before we leave Block Land, here's a few more tidbits:

I enjoyed watching this child balance tippily on this block.

 This child set up a ball run with an obstacle in the middle (see video).  Later it morphed into a longer track with no obstacles, but I somehow managed to not get any photos of that (oops!)

These two guys worked together to haul this spool around on bungee cords.
This week's pool-structure was a picnic table complete with umbrella!
The older sibling had built this pulley (the tubing and cardboard tube parts) in a different program a few months ago and I'd left it as-is on the cart.  Today, her younger brother discovered it and hung a bungee cord and two buckets on it.  He pointed out that the full bucket was lower and we asked what would happen if he moved stuff into the empty bucket.  He tried it and nothing moved until the very last clamp was moved over to the other bucket and then WHOOSH it went down all at once.

This week on the art table, I added spray bottles of water instead of a bowl of water.  They were a huge, huge hit.  So many (very young!) kids were fascinated by the spray bottles and stayed there for a hugely long time, spraying rocks, brushes, a bit of spraying the movie screen and wallpaper but best of all?  Spraying yourself!
(She emptied almost the entire spray bottle on her face, one shivery spritz at a time.  She was completely delighted with it!  Her clever mom was prepared with a dry shirt for her to wear home.)

The cardboard tubes saw a little bit more action this week:

And this week's elaborate tulle outfit involved the use of balls as bustle:
 (there was a little help with tucking from mom)

 And what outfit is complete without matching shoes?

Here is a play story from this week:
What will next week bring?  I've got another few tweaks planned and I'm excited to see how they play out!

Please note: "Anji Play,” refers to a specific philosophy and comprehensive approach to early education developed by Ms. Cheng Xueqin in Anji County, China. I use the term "Anji Play" to describe my programming and throughout this blog with the explicit permission of Ms. Cheng because our programming has been developed as part of a close collaborative relationship with her and her team of Anji Play educators. If you are interested in learning more about how you can bring Anji Play to your community, please visit

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