Hut building extravaganza

As we once again go into Level 4 lockdown, we want to create opportunities for our kindergarten whanau to stay connected.  Thinking about what threads of interest were current in the kindergarten playground during the previous week, we invited children and families to take part in a 'hut building extravaganza' and opportunities to share their photos and stories with us.

Children are hardwired to be playful, creative and imaginative and hut building combines all of this into one!  The urge to create is strong and lately at kindergarten we have been experiencing a massive boom in the hut building industry. 

Nikau and Ben can often be found in elaborately made huts at kindergarten.  This creation,  under the table.

Huts, forts and cubbies...

“Forts have always been a part of childhood, says David Sobel… Sobel researched the developmental function forts play in children’s lives across cultures. They are universal, he says, driven by “biological genetic disposition” as children develop a “sense of self,” separate from parents… Metaphorically and physically, building forts reflects children’s growth as individuals, Sobel says; they create a “home away from home,” free from parental control. Forts also foster creativity. “A lot of magic happens inside,” he adds.” (Margolin, 2020)

Our Hut Building Extravaganza at home begins

Lauren starts the fun off in style...

The things we do aye Lauren...looking extra cool!

Annabelle and her hut made out of pillows.  Annabelle has been highly active in the hut building department at kindergarten so it's no surprise to see her embrace the challenge at home.  Annabelle's specialty is using props to decorate the floor to make it 'beautiful' she says.  Annabelle has become quite skilled at assessing her environment and turning ordinary objects into 'floor decorations'.

Tessa is no stranger to hut building and knows the art of using blankets to create cozy spaces.  Nice work Tessa!

Look at that, Tessa's siblings want to join in the fun...there's nothing quite like a good hut to snuggle down in and read a book.

Here is Bonnie having a great time in her hut.  Bonnie has discovered the age old secret of great hut building...using premade structures in the home and re-purposing them.  What was once a bunk bed is now a hut for playing in!

“Cubbies engage children on so many levels,” says Tim Gill, an international consultant on children’s play from the UK, and author of “They provide a great springboard for stories, role-play and social interaction, and they offer practical challenges, encouraging children to think about what they can do with the things around them. There are many obvious benefits to building cubbies, including being physically active, problem-solving and working with others. But the more profound benefits are to do with fostering children’s sense of themselves as people who are effective in their everyday actions, and whose actions make a difference. Educators call this ‘self-efficacy’, and it links with resilience, self-confidence and other crucial life skills and dispositions.” (Evans, 2020)

CJ and Cindy understand the concept of using anything for great hut building, as little brother Carter watches and learns.  Notice the strategically placed 'anchors' at each corner of the blanket...that's skill right there...

As it turns out Tania has not quite mastered this engineering feat.  

Confused, the dogs look on as the hut she made fell apart on entering.
Notice arm holding up roof...not ideal hut building capabilities!

Adjustments were needed and finally a master piece emerged.  
Behold, I give you Tania's hut...

Moving on...the classic couch hut!
Many Kiwi kids have mastered the art of turning couches into...well almost anything; whatever the imagination dreams up!
Nice James.

James enjoys snack time with his brothers in his comfy and cool couch hut 😊

Now where is Evie?  Playing in her hut of course...such fun to be had!
Huts are very inclusive and enjoyed by all ages and what special memories to cherish as a family.  Love it!

Now it's Katie's turn...what a masterpiece!

Katie's got it sorted...the perfect space for a teddy bears picnic.  
What a treat!

Great hut Katie.

Under the protective branches of a tree, Olivia and her sisters have created a hut inspired by nature...just gorgeous!  And so healthy for the body, mind and spirit!
Nice Olivia, that looks like the perfect place to relax.

Filtered light streams through the tree canopy as Heidi and her big sisters get back to nature too...and that looks like some serious weaving on one side of their hut...ataahua!

Rowan and Ava add the sparkle of twinkle lights...and just like that bring in a bit of magic.

Irirangi chooses under the trampoline as the place to build his hut...clever's the perfect place for a game of Twister or a relaxing stretch on the couch with a good book!

Meanwhile Tai and Kora have moved in to their hut! 
Complete with dinosaur, blocks and the family dog.

Ngatiira's version of hut building

And shadow puppets!  Just another creative idea to further enjoy the humble hut!

Complete with level Zoe!
Your hut looks like a whole lot of fun.

Literally laughing out loud...what a great photo Zoe!

And lets not forget that huts are even great at night! 
 Khan and his Dad show us the true magic of huts.  Wow!

What a truly fabulous Hut Building Extravaganza!

It has been so wonderful to share this experience with you all over the past couple of days.  It's amazing what can happen with simple materials and vast imaginations.   

Thanks for sharing what you've been up to with us, it's important we find ways to keep connected during such crazy times!  Just know that we are thinking of you, you are important to us!  Take care, enjoy this time with your children and make the most of fun times had learning through play.

The team at Bream Bay Kindergarten