Monday, April 4, 2011

totem poles in the play space - preschool style

Do you remember a while back when I had totem poles on the brain?

We have 4 wooden posts rising out of the middle of our playground. 

Once holding shade cloth, they now earn their keep as supports for projects like our banging post, our rope bridge or pulleys

But mostly they just stand there, naked totem poles, just begging to be painted:

We set the kids free with pots of poster paint:

And now we have our very own painted poles, a far more colourful addition to our playspace:

Even the last remnant of our banging post - a nailed on cake tin - got the once over with a coat of paint. 

This lone cake tin on a pole reminds me of the organic nature of our outdoor playspace - ever changing, always evolving, well used and stamped by the children who play in it everyday.

The same will be true with the poles.  The original coat of poster paint will eventually wash away.  The colours change. and the artists change as new coats of paint are added.  It is a great way to use up the dregs of paint left in pots at the end of the day!


  1. The magic of childhood really is that it is ever evolving. I'm always saddened when see centres with no trees and fake grass and the same toys put out for the children in the same places day after day. Where is the magic? The creativity?

    Jenny, I think you do an amazing job of allowing childhood to just be, without restriction. Such a wonderful place for the children to spend their days.

  2. irresistible as always Jen.
    Donna :) :)

  3. Just found your blog and I'm enjoying every post so far. I'm inspired to create in our own backyard. Definitely going to create an outdoor kitchen this summer.

  4. love your blog... I'm glad I stumble over it :) great insight for my little ones and our project in Uganda thanks keep up the great work

  5. Jenny,
    Thanks for sharing these lovely totem poles, and as well all your great ideas. Reading your blog over the past 2 months has made a real difference for me!
    Thanks for your generous spirit and creativity!

  6. Thank you, thank you thank you! In the last few days of the term, while I struggle to keep motivated, as well as begin to think about term tow, I have spent the morning going through your blog and am once again full of excitement for the job I really do love. I have been here before, but slacky, not commmeted.
    So, here I am now.
    Thanks again, Naomi.

  7. This post makes me so happy Jenny. Our own outdoor classroom evolves in a similar way. I find it a challenge to just let it happen sometimes, but man, that's the way it needs to be.

    Right now, I'm sitting on the edge of letting the indoors go the same route . . . Parent rebellion? Perhaps.