Wednesday, May 10, 2017

ready for play....

Today my wife begins a three day class with the Eureka Springs School of the Arts (ESSA) in mosaic. I will be helping to make some moldings for trimming the new ESSA wood shop, and it will feel good to have my hands in things.

The work benches arrived from Lee Valley yesterday and will be ready for assembly by a team of volunteers as the carpenters are nearing the completion of their work.

The image above from Swedish Wooden Toys (Yale University Press) is of a Swedish child ready for imaginative play, 1918. The horses in the photo are particularly fine. Just as real horses come in a variety of shapes and sizes, these show that the carving of Dala horses needs not be overly distorted by meeting standards of appearance and size. The cart and trappings are also intriguing and could be made by a parent or grandparent and child working together in the wood shop.

Play is the means through which the child prepares him or her self for real life. Play is the most natural way to prepare children for their futures, and yet there is a distorted notion in American education that schooling should be like work, and that work at best is torturous, and that torture is a requirement for success. Let's think just a bit about joy... About the joy of creativity and discovering that work can be joy... as easily as learning can be joy, and play can be joy.

Yesterday we met with folks from A+ Schools and are hoping that organization becomes a means through which we can share more of what we do with others and improve what we do as well.

Make, fix, create, and increase the opportunities for others to learn likewise.

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