We were visiting my sister's home for Ilex's birthday party. Drake had set up an obstacle for his bike out in the field. It became the centerpiece of childplay.
A long, heavy board. A stump. That's it.
Do you know the variety of ways a board and a stump can be used? Find out by setting children loose on them. A teeter-totter. A balance beam. A bike ramp. A hands-on science experiment of simple machines: levers. What does it take to balance the board? Can one boy stradle the stump and make the board level?
Look at these poor, little, unsocialized homeschoolers standing in a line, waiting their turn. It makes my heart swell. Did you know that it is best to stand a short distance from the board when another child is walking on it? Otherwise it comes up suddenly and whacks you in the chin (if you're short...). I think that is what the Montessori Method calls 'Control of Error.'
Not a bad trick for a 4-year-old (okay, he'll be 5 next month...):
What free 'toys' have your children enjoyed?