While spring is busy unfolding here in Toronto, I see my own little seedling blossoming into himself. He now gleefully takes the reins and guides us through endless play with lots of instruction about where we should stand and what we should say (and if you don’t say in just the right tone, would you mind starting over?).
So, I was not terribly surprised when my boy asked if we could go hunting for some Heffalumps.
a literary aside: A few months ago, on World Book Day, Aodhan’s dad, introduced Aodhan to his own ancient copies of Winne-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner – both of which offer great Heffalump stories. It was fun to see how quickly Aodhan attached to these stories and the characters. I was so happy to have him enter the 100 acre wood without a touch of Disney predestination. I also think that Aodhan’s dad was so pleased to be able to pass down a true connection to his own darling family who live so far away – Kevin has beautiful memories of having his parents read these little stories to him, and now he can be found reading them to his own son every night around 7pm.
I asked Aodhan where he thought we should go to hunt a Heffalump and he suggested (quite rightly) High Park. He then informed me:
that we were going to have a splendid time.
I took his lead and he we ended up traipsing through the High Park forest. He decided which trails and paths we took and he was great at spotting the tracks left by the Heffalumps.
It was so great to hear him talking to himself in the voices of the different characters, and he made it very clear that I was to be Kanga for the afternoon.
We built a Heffalump House, and asked all the dogs that we saw if they had seen any Heffalumps that day.
In the end, Aodhan pocketed one pink Heffalump and brought it home to show Christopher Robin (his dad!).
Literacy learning is so much more than learning the skills of reading. In this two hours of outdoor play, Aodhan developed characters, worked with plot, problem solved, took control, imagined, made connections, exercised his body, and worked through emotions.
A.A. Milne was a brilliant writer who knew so much about the inner workings of a child’s mind and imagination. I have loved watching Aodhan discover these books and can’t wait to see where else they take us (or rather, where else Aodhan takes us!).
I am terribly late, but I am linking up to The Outdoor Play Party, which is hosted by:
I am excited to be linking up for the first time to a great blog: Smiling Like Sunshine. This mama is hosting a Book Sharing Monday – come on over!