Monday, July 29, 2013

Movers and Shakers

Movers & Shakers: A look at REALLY BIG loose part play photo IMG_00000122.jpg
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I have always been amazed to see that almost as soon as children become mobile, they develop a need to rearrange the objects in their environment.  Toddlers seem to take great satisfaction in their new found ability to move large objects like chairs around the room. The larger the object, the greater the satisfaction.

My outdoor area is full of mobile playthings that I consider to be loose parts.  Many people will only apply the term "loose parts" to such items as driftwood, pine cones, sticks, and stones.  Other people will also consider bricks, chunks of lumber, and other building materials.  In my buddies' world, loose parts seem to be anything and everything that is not tied down, screwed on or cemented into the ground. 

I've seen so many beautiful children's play areas.  I am especially drawn to the ones I see that are made of stone, and wood and brick.  Though I've been adding more of those natural materials to my yard, I am still surrounded with an abundance of plastic.  I've made peace with plastic, though.  Besides being durable and easy to clean, another advantage of plastic is that it is relatively light.  That means that my buddies are able to relocate even relatively large pieces of play equipment like slides, teeter totters, tables, and climbers.  They might need to call a buddy over for assistance if the piece is especially large, but I love nothing better than seeing two or more of my buddies co-ordinating efforts to move a large item to a new area.  The immense satisfaction these movers and shakers feel when they finally accomplish their task radiates from them and gives me one of those feelings that makes this job so worth while. 

One day, my buddies will move mountains, but for today, they seem to be happy just moving the little tikes stuff around the yard.

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