The Beetle House by Owen and Sasha

I love garbage finds. In the past I've found a baby swing, a book case, baskets, glass jars (my favorite) and so much more. One persons garbage is another person's treasure, I must agree.

When I salvage things from the garbage I feel good to be reusing and saving an item from the landfill. I also feel very connected to my father. As a child I have vivid memories of the Corbeil dump. We would drive up in my dad's lime green pickup, dump our garbage and always find something to bring back. Some of the items foraged can still be found in my parents barn.

A few weeks ago I found some rectangular pieces of wood which I thought could be of some use. I put them in the backyard and waited to see what would manifest.
Since then the children have been loading dump trucks with the wood and building towers and the usual block play. Last Friday I was thrilled when doing the dishes and I could hear Owen and Sasha hard at play. Together they built a beetle house.

This became an elaborate 30 minute story of how the beetles lived there and what they needed to be happy, where they were going to sleep and so on. I loved listening to their engaged play. For them what they had built was a real beetle house and there were real beetles that lived there. They brought buckets in the house to fill with water so the beetles could drink. This brought questions like do beetles like cold or warm water? What do they like to eat? and so on. To me that is real creative play. It's like an artist filling a blank canvas.
On that day Owen and Sasha took mere pieces of wood (their canvas) and through their imagination they created, co-operated and built a beetle house. No adult/teacher was there to guide them as they needed no guidance. They instinctively knew what to do and through their imagination and self-exploration guided themselves into a very complex beautiful story.
This is childhood at it's best.

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