Painted Branches

We tend to use a ton of natural materials. The kids love coming into the classroom and finding bowls of pinecones, piles of sticks, or a basket of rocks and shells. We had an early dismissal day last week so I set out a provocation with sticks that I had sanded (they were previously in our building area and the children weren’t building with them anymore) and cups of paint. Coming into the classroom after school, they are always excited to see paint. 

The beginnings of Painted Branches…which quickly took an interesting turn…the children were painting WANDS!

The discussion at the table was that they were painting magic wands! What a FABULOUS and totally unexpected turn of events.  

Our two year old was excited to get into the paint action.

Workers at a wand factory creating magic wands with special powers.

The workers let the wands dry between paint coats .

Details on a child’s wand.

Details on a child’s wand.

In hindsight, I probably should have guessed that these wands branches would  become wands. Some of the children have become very interested in Harry Potter recently. 

A proper wizard must have a spellbook.

One of the lovely outcomes of an activity such as this is that even children who dislike writing willingly joined in the fun because it was their idea! Children helped each other with spelling and punctuation. New words were invented and pictures drawn to match their magic spells. The children really cranked the creativity up a notch!

Proper wizards need hats, right? Our two year old casting a spell as our 9 year old plays along. Once again, this is the absolutel beauty of a mixed age group.

The wonderful effects of a child led curriculum unfolded before my eyes today. The children were workers in a factory, practiced writing unprompted, and played cooperatively. The littles learned from the bigs and the bigs even learned a bit of patience by actively incorporating the littles into their fantasy world. 

What surprising turns have your provocations taken? Share them below in the comments!

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