We went tramping, which is a many hours walk up a big hill carrying everything you need… all to stay in a nice one room hut with no electricity, or kitchen and an outside loo with a spectacular view (“you care about views Mummy, I don’t”). I often wonder why people go tramping, especially with children, when you write it on paper it sounds so stupid, hard and un-fun work but when you do it, it is wonderful, an all encompassing awesome dose of vitamin nature and a feeling of total freedom. The kids may moan some, need cajoling but they do feel the joy too.
We had two nights in the hut – so there was a day in the middle… what to do? especially when one gets up at what I would call obscenely early o’clock, also called dawn. We had lunch at 10:30 – call it first lunch/big morning tea? The kids of course had no problem. They played SHOPs… surrounded by nature they established a shop selling; brushes, mops, baby toys, irons, weights, guns, brooms, tickets to a machinery museum (“the two machines were the; earthquake machine, and the monster raaa speaker). Quite a lot goes into running a shop, there is finding stock, enough stock, what kind of stock? a display cabinet, deciding on prices, finding your punters, you need a scanner, a counter, then you have to find a currency and sell your stock, give change and if your mother is a reluctant shopper even in play situations (when you have little money and a philosophy that demands that you question any purchase for actual need) you have to really go the extra mile to find something she actually will buy (a tent peg)… While they were doing this us adults are thinking about how we should do something, make the most of the experience of being there.
and then when you have made your purchases…. and should you not have the money (rocks) and be friends with the shop-owner “I’ll buy you a big girl brush because it looks like you are having difficulty with that baby brush” and “because I work at the shop I get a discount”. Helena to her 2 1/2 year old friend.
you have to use them…. lots and lots of sweeping, including the hut floor. Of course this whole process involved several people which then means endless Cs – communication, cooperation, conflict resolution, and compromise!
There are of course other crucial activities – the show (singing and earthquakes) in the woodshed and the characters made with stuff that was around and the lesser known properties of peanut butter and toothpaste as glue!! and a little side conversation, a playcentre regular, about the tikanga of using food in play – perhaps especially appropriate where we had limited resources? and on Te Wiki o te Reo Maori.
We did get the kids to the snow for some quality bagging and Helena re-invented snowboarding…. and the kids were kept well hydrated!
We also heard, then called, a Kea who came to see us and we watched it for ages including hearing it give the weirdest cries that sounded like a baby crying which was somewhat distressing even when trying not to anthropomorphise! Then there was the star gazing on mattresses in our sleeping bags – we saw a shooting star!!! a Knid….
A successful trip brought to you by the Learning areas of; Health and PE, Numeracy, Science, Technology, Art, Language, Social Sciences and Literacy (wait that’s the lot) and the Key Competencies of; Thinking, Using Language, Managing Self, Relating to Others and Participating and contributing…..
With a massive dose of creativity, perseverance and whanau.