Find and Seek 's Curious Cabinet series at the Red Hook Library is beginning to feel more and more like a small village where familiar faces and families return again and again to share, explore and grow! The proverbial, "It takes a village", is beginning to signify real meaning for us and we couldn't be more pleased.
This past week, we set up a complex environment for the children. A tiny village of play houses displayed on tiered tables created a space for loose parts involvement and make-believe imagining. As usual, lights were dimmed to allow for children to investigate materials on light boxes and the overhead projector. While the room was filled with over a dozen people and varieties of ways to explore, we were amazed at the calm and peaceful organization and flow of the day. Yes, children played and made with vigor, and even while building large box structures to climb inside, there was an ease and gentleness to the multi-aged play that was astounding!
As facilitators, Kristin and I are honing best ways to curate what comes out of the "Curious Cabinet". On Friday the 14th of March, we displayed a row of clear jars filled with selections from our materials library collection. We don't want to overwhelm children, but love to have a variety to compare and inspire choice. We invited children to collect their items of interest in little bowl vessels so they could move about freely with their treasures and engage in making. Some chose to try building a tiny house structure of their own, others added things to the tiny house village, and still others simply sat down to explore adding items to dough. From nature-made to man-made, materials ranged from soft, colorful, smooth, and rough to doughy, sticky, shiny and earthy. With so much visual and tactile stuff to investigate, children made interesting and purposeful choices, working at their own pace and levels of understanding. Here are some of the things they created!