Jan White Natural Play

Natural Play, Natural Growth, in the Early Years


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Mudlark Finds *13: Rabbityness

Rabbityness

Mudlark Find Number 13 is the partner to Find Number 12, from the Child’s Play soft-back picture book line.  It’s author/illustrator Jo Empson’s debut picture book – I hope Child’s Play carry on discovering and publishing such excellent works.

Like all good children’s picture books, this one works on many levels, and much could be made of it by parents and educators.  The reason it’s got a place as one of my Mudlark treasures is its potential contribution to creative play outdoors, especially for unfettered music making and a liberated approach to paint and colour.  The page where you turn to “he liked painting’ just lifts your spirits and says “Yes! This is what’s special about taking learning outdoors!”  You’d want to have a huge plastic sheet and plenty of paint ready…

I’m just off to California to contribute to the Childplay Institute’s Children Learning with Nature 2014 Training Institute at the University of California Santa Cruz campus, with my friends Paul Roberts, Clare Warden, Erin Kenny and Sharon Danks. Have a fabulous Mud Day on Sunday – we will!

P.S. there’s still time to make use of Muddyfaces’ Mud Pack to help you make full use of this international event.

With this section of my website, I share some of the many wonderful treasures I dig up while researching and supporting outdoor play for children from birth to seven. I hope they inspire you too, and help you to create motivational, meaningful and satisfying outdoor play experiences for all the children you work with.

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Mudlark Finds *7: Green

Green Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Mudlark Find Number 7 is an award-winning book published by Roaring Brook Press that is great on many levels for supporting outdoor play and ecological connection.

The artist’s paintings are evocative, textured and beautiful, each page leads the looker-reader to anticipate the next, and it has a good environmental message – ending with the colour ‘forever green’.

Most of all, I like the attention it gives to the subtlety in colour and the names we give to all the different greens we can notice and enjoy.  The language used for this is also excellent: “jungle green, khaki green, fern green, wacky green; slow green, faded green, glow green, shaded green” – superb!  This should make children and educators and alike want to go searching and look much more closely at what we mean by green – and to give those greens their own names…

With this section of my website, I share some of the many wonderful treasures I dig up while researching and supporting outdoor play for children from birth to seven. I hope they inspire you too, and help you to create motivational, meaningful and satisfying outdoor play experiences for all the children you work with.

Mudlarking is the ancient practice of digging in the mud of the Thames to find treasures.  It still goes on today, uncovering and recovering some amazing artefacts from the life of London city through the centuries.  Click on this link for more information about mudlarking.