Thursday, 11 March 2010

Let's play Honey Bear

This being my first post, I wanted to write something by way of an introduction to my new Adventures at Home blog. Overall it will be about my endeavours to be a creative mum with my young children at home. The highs and lows. The successes and failures. The tears and laughter (and hopefully the tears of laughter). But to give you more of an idea, my daughter provided me with a gem of an adventure yesterday. I must share it with you to illustrate something of what Adventures at Home will be about.

In the afternoon, I set out our small toy animals and sure enough a 'let's pretend it's a zoo' game began. As I stepped away from the play, I noted my daughter changing the game to a birthday party at the fairy house to which all the animals had been invited. Soon I could hear her announcing that it was time to play a party game. I thought I would be needed here, but no.

She placed all the animals in a sort of circle and told me she was playing Honey Bear, like at nursery. She re-enacted the game that usually requires a group of at least six people with just her, the animals and some cardboard cut-out fairies. Brilliant.

Explaining the rules to the assembled party, she orchestrated every toy taking a turn at being Honey Bear. So, here are my daughter's rules for the game. I'm not sure they relate closely to the rules at nursery but doing it her way certainly entertained her until teatime.

How to play Honey Bear (my daughter's version)

1. One child (or toy) is the honey bear who 'sleeps' in the middle of a circle of other players.
2. A small pot or cup is placed next to the bear's head.
3. Everyone chants 'Go to sleep Honey Bear, don't peek honey bear'
4. As the bear sleeps, someone from the circle is chosen to steal the honey pot. They must creep to collect it, then return silently to their place, hiding the honey pot behind them.
5. Everyone in the circle puts their hands behind their backs and shouts ' Wake up, honey bear. Your honey's not there!'
6. The bear then has to guess who stole the honey. The players show their hands if an incorrect guess is made. The player who stole the honey pot, is the next honey bear.

We went on to make balloon-banners for the fairy house from scraps of paper and ribbon, and lots and lots of glue but that's another adventure for another post.

I think the Honey Bear game illustrates something fundamental about being a creative mum, dad or carer. It's the ability to recognise the importance of stepping back sometimes and allowing the child's creativity to flow. If I had muscled in, I don't think I would have seen that wonderful game being led so expertly by a three year old. She was totally immersed.

It is so tricky to know how much to input, when to step back, when to guide and when to join in with gusto. Practice makes perfect I suppose. I hope. I am trying to navigate a way through family life, nurturing creativity and allowing it to flow naturally whenever possible in all that we do together.

And this blog will be a record of it all.

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