Early one sunny morning we walked to our nearby nature preserve to listen to the peepers. We went on the far side of the pond where the reeds were full of red-winged blackbirds and found an old dock for a little picnic of little oranges. I had brought binoculars to introduce my grandson on being a 'birder' proper. The delight of bark boats in the water started to draw his interest, and soon the long grasses by the pond's edge started to become grass dolly puppets who could go boating on the bark boats.
And so travels a young child's incredibly agile and creative imagination. I marvel at it.
We brought long grasses home and made a family of grass dolly puppets, how instantly they can come to life in story after story. I was planning on a summer of story using the many nature things we found outside on our explorations to inspire our puppets. The curve of a stone becoming a frog, twigs becoming all kinds of animals, horses, lizards, dragons.... everywhere we looked magic arose like the gold of a sunrise. Thistle bees, painted round pebbles became a village of ladybugs. Pine cones surely were the favorite! But we kept coming back to the grass dolly puppets... adding bits of wool roving colors gave them a lot of character! Flower garlands of forget-me-not flowers invited the fairies to live under the honeysuckle bush. The kingdom of Nature became our stage, no matter where we went... and our dear friend, creative imagination always joined us.
Steiner did say 'When a young child does puppet theater they will not fall in adolescence.' Somehow I think this is even more potent when puppetry is done outdoors with nature puppets!
And in the autumn, we revisited our grassy friends, down where we found a perfect log puppet stage.
If Outdoor Puppetry and the incredible sparks of fancy that Mother Nature shares with us interests you... look into our online course on The Art of Outdoor Puppet Theater! Click Here for more details - all welcome.
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