This week we had the first sessions of our new ten-week-long Adventure Club after-school programs that’s all about free play in natural settings. I meet the kids with my big backpack of odds and ends (tools, tarps, rope, old cloths, tape, bandaids, the usual….), armed for whatever kind of play the kids want to engage in.
Our Tuesday crew, at the Champ des Possibles, was all about drawing with charcoal using bits of burnt wood from a past fire someone had, investigating rock layers vis-à-vis smashing rocks with hammers, and getting to work on building “le club”, our “headquarters” for “Club d’aventure”, by adding to a pre-existing old wooden structure at the Champ. At their guise, we focused on making booby traps (“pièges”) to trap unsuspecting visitors and amused ourselves by making a teeter-totter/lever system of sorts out of an old 2X4 on top of the structure. We didn’t take many pictures Tuesday afternoon but here is a pic of our playschool kids testing out the teeter-totter system the next day!
Our Wednesday crew, at Mont Royal, was totally different, but equally fun. We played plenty of old school games such as Simon says, What time is it Mr. Wolf, freeze tag, etc., to get the after-school willies out – four out of the eight kids are at a school that has been renovating their outdoor area for quite some time – so some of these kids don’t get any outdoor time at school. We then set off to explore the mountain, mainly just rolling up and down a giant hill, digging in frozen ground, using hammers as ice picks on a “mountaineering expedition”, and plenty of tree climbing.
The weather was hardly something most grownups would get excited about this week. Tuesday was -5, and it was blizzarding for most of the Wednesday session, but this didn’t bother any of the kids. In fact, the only complaint I heard was that the club was too short!
Long live adventurous play! Can’t wait to see everyone next week!