This weeks Outdoor Play Party is a guest post from Unnur Henrys a colleague & friend from Iceland:
This post is going to be about a friendship thanks to Facebook and social media. It all started with a comment I made on a wall to someone I knew nothing about. I got a reply very quickly from a woman called Kierna Corr, asking me if I was interested in a partnership in a Comenius project between few countries. After getting the permission from my principal we went ahead and started talking on FB about outdoor teaching, sharing ideas, and our shared passions for our work. Not long after that, Kierna Corr had the chance to come and see me in Iceland through a project organised by Fafu. Fafu had compiled a team of 30 fun people, from across England, Ireland and America. They all had the same passion for outdoors as we do. One of them was the one and only Martin Besford that has inspired us both with his work and passion for his Outdoor pre-school at Highway Farm. We hit it off and became good friends, messaging and talking and sharing good practice.
|Staff & children play together & the tyre walk created by the adults.|
|The amazing boat 'Highway' created by the fab Highway Farm Team.|
I was lucky enough to get to visit Highway Farm in December last year with few of my colleagues. It took a bit of organising but was the second link in strengthening our friendship further. It is indescribable what I felt about the Farm, wow wow it is an amazing place. Martin and I continued to communicate and he wanted to bring his whole team to Iceland, to share good practice, deliver some training and help us build some outdoor spaces. So I went ahead and helped them to organize the trip. Lucky for us in Stekkjaras, the one and only Andy Byles (a really good friend of Highway Farm) came with them and he and the Highway Farm team came up with a great mud kitchen, a boat in the sand pit, called Highway, some dens and lots of great ideas for us to use in our outdoor space. On the second day we got a quick glance into how their team works, when they had a short workshop for all the staff. We made some floating natural boats to take outside to play with in the first half of the workshop and then we got to go outside and use it with all the kids around. They found it quite strange to see the teachers play together without them! After a quick refreshment of coffee, milk and a biscuit all the kids, all the teachers at Stekkjaras and all the Highway farm team went out to play together.
|Some of the amazing new additions to the playground.|
|The incredible mud kitchen created by Martin & the Highway Farm Team.|
And wow wow wow the place was buzzing with energy and laughter, some water being splashed, some more dens being built and everybody having so much fun. The other amazing thing, is the ripple effect that this visit has had, is now beginning to show, other local settings inspired to start transforming their spaces. Hopefully this is just the start of isnpiration that joining together can have. If we all share and pool skills and resources, fantastic things can happen and magic can do its work. I know that I have made friends for life with these like minded people, Martin Besford and the staff at Highway farm and Kierna Corr. Thank you so much, all of you for the inspiring talks, help and kind words when needed. I am already planning my next trip to Highway Farm to work as an extra pair of hands and see the many changes since my last visit in December. I am told a joint project at Highway Farm is in the air........ Unnur Henrys Leikskolinn Stekkjaras
Once again, thanks to all who linked up & supported the last Outdoor Play Party, my featured post from the last linky is from Rain or Shine Mama on how her grandparents got her hooked on nature.