Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Giant Pillow!

The educational process has no end beyond itself; it is its own end.  ~John Dewey

If it's possible, the Pre-3 class had even more fun than the older kids with our "giant pillow," which is what we've been calling it. 

This appears to be some sort of reusable, inflatable packaging for shipping large items. It's strong and lightweight; so light weight that our youngest students can manhandle it, even while it dwarfs them.

And so strong that on Monday a dozen 4 and 5-year-olds reacted by repeatedly pouncing on it. I was both surprised and pleased to find it was still inflated when I returned on Tuesday morning.

The younger children did their share of pouncing as well, but they were more interested in moving and manipulating it. Not only did we discover that a single child could easily move the giant pillow, but that if we worked together we could roll it over, flip it on end, and with a little adult help get it up into the air.

One of us turned it into an impromptu somersault trainer, launching herself right over the top. It was a slow motion trip, giving her plenty of time to get her hands down and tuck her chin.

We had it positioned on a lightly sloped piece of wood chip covered ground, in the top part of the outdoor classroom, near our swing set. 

Naturally, it wound up moving in that direction and the swingers knew just what to do . . . Kick!

I know what you're thinking, but this really is such a lightweight balloon-y thing that even when it hits another kid at full speed its an impact without any sort of force or sting, kind of like being hit with a length of foam pipe insulation. We threw it to the swingers to kick back at us over and over as everyone laughed wildly.

I threw it into the air several times. The children jockeyed to make sure it landed on them. 

I wonder what this piece of inflatable packaging was originally used to protect. Whatever it was, I'm confident it did the job. I love that it's not only reusable, with a valve for inflating and deflating, but it's ultimately recyclable.

We'll eventually use it up, I'm sure, it's just a matter of time before it receives a puncture, but it made it through some pretty rough play again today, so I'll bet it survives this week. I'm already thinking about ways to use it in combination with the giant tubes.

Maybe we'll throw in some bubble wrap and the spinny barrel thingy and make it a packing material theme. In the meantime, we'll just move it around and keep it away from thorny plants.

We always live at the time we live and not at some other time, and only by extracting at each present time the full meaning of each present experience are we prepared for doing the same thing in the future.  ~John Dewey

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Meagan said...

I've never seen one. Any idea where you can order them from?

Meagan said...

Found some! I'll be curious to see how long it holds up to heavy use. The two ply are pretty affordable.

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