I’ve borrowed the title of this post from one of the greatest writers for children, Maurice Sendak. You only have to read ‘Where The Wild Things Are’ to see that there was an author and artist who really understood the relationship between the real and imagined worlds of children. There’s too much to say about that book here, and its not what I want to write about, but it seems fitting to borrow a title of another of his books to describe a post about a boy, his play and the natural world.
A couple of weeks ago, we had a family holiday in Brittany where OH parents have a house. It’s on the top of a hill with super views and even lovelier gardens, all lovingly created and tended over the years. There’s lots of outside space including veggie patches, mature trees, lawned areas and an orchard. Such space needs a lot of mowing and for that, Granny has a tractor! This was little boy heaven!
As the tractor was parked right next to the house, Toby’s first job in the morning was to go out and make sure that it had enough petrol and to ‘drive’ it for a bit. When Pops was up and about, he and Toby would spend hours loading the ‘trailer’ (really it was the grass cutting bit, but to T, it was simply the Trailer) with logs. Together they talked about the different sizes of log and how, if they were knocked together, you could here if they were dry enough to burn. They stacked according to size and shape and Toby felt that he had done a really important job by the time he came in for a snack. This happened every day for 10 days!
Then there was the beach on a wet day with lots of digging, floating of toys and clambering over rocks. We peered into the sea looking for fish and felt the seaweed between our fingers.
Then there was the land drain! Granny and pops had a rather long bit of pipe and a slopey garden, so what else would you do but run boules down it and catch them in a bucket! Toby enjoyed hearing them thump into the big bucket but best of all was when we added a loop the loop and listened to them going down the tube before they jumped out of the end and into the bucket! This, literally, had us all at it for hours. The outside fun did not stop there. There were trees to climb and swings to swing, carvings to sit on and another tractor to play on…
There was also a sound sculpture that Granny had made:
Toby only came to this a couple of times but it all added to the sensory experience.
One of my best outings was to the local chateau where Toby just had a ball rampaging through the grounds and running up and down the ‘castle’ steps. He thought it was amazing to be at a real castle and has since pointed out any building with a turret, calling it a castle (or ‘Carrsuwl’). In the grounds there was an amazing living willow sculpture and lots of beautiful wooded and planted areas. Toby and I had fun looking for the Gruffalo, creeping up on him and tip toeing past so as not to wake him!
Little Harry had lots of outdoor fun too…
What an amazing outdoor adventure for two small boys. Little things became big things and time was elongated. Daddy was there to see both boys playing and learning and a great time was had by all!