by Jessica Lee
(Vancouver BC Canada)
Here is a corner of the livingroom in our small apartment where me and my two children, ages 5 and 2 spend time playing, storytelling and learning.
I created this space to allow my children to breathe and experience beauty and light. While situated by the window to look outdoors, our carefully chosen playthings reflect the beauty and light found in nature, coupled with a sense of serenity and quietitude.
This space also refects the seasons. Currently, the overhead branch suspends butterflies and bees (made with my children from wool).
Through play with things from natue, I wish my children to have strong creativity and a sense of freedom in their play, largely developed through open ended toys.
Many of the items we play with are made by me from wool, such as animals and people, or are made by others from natural materials such as wood. One of our favourite things to play with are silks, which we have dyed ourselves, including the canopy over the playstands. The playstands are made by my Dad. If not made, other items are found washed ashore or in the woods: seashells, pinecones, driftwood, rocks, and acorns. These are props for stories, used in building, or for (pretend) cooking.
My 2 year old daughter loves playing with the little people, gnomes and animals here. She cooks for them and feeds the animals. She takes them though walks over the bridge and knocks on the doors of the little homes. My 5 year old son enjoys building. Using blocks or wood he has cut to create houses or ramps for cars from the shelves. Occassionally, the two of them will move the stands to create a store, home, train or rocketship.
Mornings we are here. While I savour a cup of coffee, we chat, read, play, reflect and plan our day. This photo is taken in the morning, and I hope refects the care and love taken to nourish my children through their senses.