This girl came to Cardboard Playground excited to engage with materials - and especially to MAKE. This is a common goal when children approach all of these materials - what should they make? What CAN they make?
She made a kite, inspired by the dragon kite that her Grandparents have. There was just enough wind to make this cardboard kite take flight, but she did not really believe it - she couldn't see it floating in the air behind her as she ran. She asked her mom to take a video, and she watched it; then she decided to make some modifications to the design. She cut flaps and made more designs on the cardboard, then asked me, "Can you take a video? I want to see if it flies!"
Some adults may have told her how to make the kite fly better. Some adults may tell her that cardboard is not an idea material for a kite. Some adults may think that this does not support children in learning how to "do things right". Play Lab exists because even though we, as adults, might not do things the same way a child chooses to, its okay to make it up yourself. When you enjoy the process, you'll likely engage in it again, becoming more and more of an expert each time.
I made a new friend, Jack, yesterday at Cardboard Playground - I'll be writing more about that soon. But I was thrilled to come home and read this in the preface of his book on woodworking with children: "There is something magical about the process of building, the transformation of raw materials by knowledge, skill, and persistence into a useful and nice-looking product." His words have helped me expand my understanding of the two sides of the coin: process and product. And, on top of that, interest and support for Play Lab seems to be growing, and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next!