Free & Loose

I planned to write a post first thing this morning before the children arrived but somebody desperately needed attention and so I abandoned my computer and paperwork.  Seriously – who could resist?

So now I have to spend my evening at the computer and hope that cat doesn’t show up again. 🙂

I’m an advocate of loose parts but I also need to be organized and sometimes those two things collide.  In the gravel area of the yard there are sticks and pipes, pinecones and pieces of bark, scraps of wood and other miscellaneous things.

Toys and other equipment are stored in bins in the deck box or the shed and brought out when needed.  The loose parts are always out – loose – hence the name.  This ever-changing supply of random items is strewn about the yard and sometimes makes it difficult to walk.

I find myself wandering around making arbitrary piles of unused things to get them out of the way and create walkways. I can’t really ask the children to ‘clean up’ because this stuff doesn’t have a spot where it belongs and besides, the mess is not bothering them.

Then, last weekend, as we were working on various projects outside my husband asks ‘What are you going to do with this?’ Oooh, I had forgotten about ‘that’ – A modular plastic cube thing that we picked up at the last Giveaway Weekend event.  I think it was supposed to be a desk at one time but I just thought the cubes might come in handy for something, sometime.  Until I could of a good use we just put them in the crawlspace and they’ve been there all winter.  Until now when I did this;

I don’t expect the children to keep it all neat and organized like this.  They will be free to move the pieces around the yard as they please.  Build with them. Dig with them. Whatever they need or want them for. But we can also put them somewhere when they are not being used and that will make me happy.  And maybe the children will like it too because the next time they are working on a building project and someone says ‘We need another small pipe’ they’ll know where to look first.

Interestingly though, when the children went out on Monday, the squeal and exclamation “Come. Look what happened – it’s amazing!” didn’t refer to my weekend organization.  It was in reference to the growth of the native plants on the hill.

Yes, Mother Nature is amazing.  That’s why we help her out by recycling. This weekend is another Giveaway Weekend.  I wonder what we might find.

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