Sightlines Initiative

promoting creative and reflective practice in early childhood education


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Reggio Approach E-Learning

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Learning Together at Home

Dens for Imagination

Here is another in our suggestions series: Learning Together at Home (If you haven't already, click on the link to sign up for news and to participate.)

What hiding-places for imagination are you finding?

I came across a den like this during last weekend’s walk and I wondered how many children are finding the opportunities and time to find and create these hideaways in which so many enchanting ideas and games can brew?

I remember the dens

Under my bed
In cupboards
On top of cupboards
In the cupboard under the stairs
Behind the sofa, with a blanket
Under the fire-guard, with cushions and blankets
Up trees
In the hole under the railway station (secret one, that!)
In the loft

I remember that one of the best things was that adults were Not allowed.

Some years ago (well twenty now) a couple of us who were managing our Woodland Preschool project set up a place for den-making at a summer family festival down south. We called it ‘a community of dens.’ In the tiniest of woodlands, children would come and venture in, sometimes alone, sometimes brother & sister … They’d find an enticing space, they’d come and seek additional material, bring some from their belongings, and over a few days the place became buzzing, children inviting their parents in sometimes to their magic places.

What places are you finding? What stories and new worlds are growing ‘under our feet’ in young minds as corners become transformed and precious?

Shared by children & their parents ...

"Rainy day dens, sunny day dens, inside, outside. Whatever the mood or weather the boys love to make a den, and let their imaginations run wild. Even baby brother is allowed in them (sometimes!)

Their own space that comes alive. "

Our 'Learning Together at Home' invitations are still connecting, and of course children, supported by their parents are still finding the times and places for imagination - here are some windows into summer worlds of a family of boys in Cumbria:

 Do carry on - playing, learning, connecting -  and posting us your stories.