Warm air, summery sun, kites and ice cream…

 

The weather today inspired a completely different approach to our planned programme. Instead of a quick trip to Muizenberg beach for some kite flying we ended up spending most of the day there. Who could resist spending the day out doors when we are being blessed with such incredible weather? We decided to go with the flow and it was the right decision. Our morning check in session with all of the children was crowded with their different kites. Almost everyone had brought one with them…they could not wait til we were at the beach to begin assembling them and showing their unique features off to the other children in the group. Such excitement and anticipation! It brought back memories of my own kite from when I was that age. It was a long, rainbowed tailed dragon kite which flew through the air like a snake. I loved it and it never ceased to bring me delight when I saw it race through the sky above me. It was the same for the children this morning…delight!

So we packed our bags and headed down to the beach as soon as possible. By 10:30 we were there, kites unfurled, assembled and being raced along the edge of the rumbling waves. For some reason the wind was stronger there. Sadly the wind soon died down and many of the kites could not fly. So they were abandoned. The beach front became the children’s focus instead. A group headed over to a large sand dune on the other side of the river mouth, where they ran around, slid down, flew kites and even found a huge barrel to roll down. There seemed to be an endless number of things to capture their attention. Soon the wind returned and kites were once again being coaxed up into the air. It was lovely to see! So many shapes and bright colours flying in the blue sky! Such pride when someone was able to get their kite flying so high, they ran out of string!!!

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The rest of the morning continued this way…bursts of kite flying interspersed with boat making (with a tooth brush at one point), wading out into the ocean (almost swimming!), sand building (which inspired a version of table mountain), wave watching, wildlife spotting, people watching, problem solving. On one small corner of a beach in Muizenberg, life was being fully experienced and engaged with by this small group of children who were allowed to play freely under the warm summery sky. It was lovely to observe their free, creative play. It reminded Kim and I about the importance of play and how often this activity is interrupted by adults who prefer the safety of structured activities and controlled experiences where you can determine the outcome. There was a sort of natural grace to the unfolding activities this group engaged in together and apart. Ideas emerged, were explored and took on new dimensions!

As lunch time came around we decided it was the perfect moment for some ice cream, so we packed our bags and headed up the pavillion for some mouth-watering flavours. Walking back to Planet kids, our ice cream eating crew looked and sounded very satisfied with their experience that day. Faces relaxed, steps easy and voices open…it was a great day!

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