Wednesday, April 02, 2008

An All-Natural Wee World Built by Wee-mazing Kids

My cousin Claudia is both an amazingly creative and dedicated fifth grade teacher and an amazing and dedicated mother to fourth and fifth grade children. She's not one to go out and buy a bunch of toys and send her children (or students) on their way. Instead, she believes in building and creating play experiences and she and her kids (and students, I assume) always seem to be deeply immersed in the most incredible creative projects.

Claudia was shopping on Berkeley's trendy, upscale Fourth Street a few years ago and saw this "Wee-World" created entirely of natural materials. Its price tag was in the thousands of dollars!

'We can do that ourselves,' Claudia decided, and she and her kids set off for a hike in Berkeley's Tilden Park, where they found the perfect hollowed out stump. They came home and got to work, creating an entire environment from that stump and other natural materials.

They built tables from eucalyptus bark, steps from tiny sticks, cradles with soft moss, a wheelbarrow with a button for a wheel, and even an outhouse, a rope elevator and a clay oven!

And the people they made...! Each wee-person is made from a pipe cleaner, embroidery floss, a wood ball and felt fabric for clothes, which the kids so beautifully decorated.

This project took an entire summer a few years ago, and is still played with today. I'm just in awe!

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2 comments:

Juanita said...

How unbelievable creative! Claudia must be a very special person.

HomeJewel said...

very cool! What a great teacher!

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