I was pleased that I actually managed to set up the Provocation and strew some books before I went to bed last night, so the boys would see it all and hopefully be inspired as soon as they came down...
That's a large sheet of cardboard (from a big box) with a strip of cardboard stuck to it in the top right corner forming an enclosure, base within painted green and an elephant in... alongside extra cordboard, paints, tape and large box of toy animals etc)
However I wasn't prepared for the fact that they wake up with their own ideas. Middle came down before anyone else and set up his own little Invitation for the rest of us. I mean, we've only been running with this for two days, and already the children are taking over, and - as dreadful talent show judges might say - making it their own!
"Hello my name is Hodg but i don't like that name i'd prefer to be called Pricles anyway I'm afriad of the dark so could you rite down awsom things About the dark so i can get uset to the dark and if i'm your faverut Animal rite down why below"
Heart-melt. It was a beautiful moment, not least because I had only been sharing yesterday how he is a reluctant writer and I am not pushing it because I know he will get there when he's ready. I guess this morning he was kind of ready! It made for a heady cocktail of smug mummy-ness, pride in him progressing, and stunned surprise at how quickly they take inspiration and run with it in directions you never expected! Anyway, we dutifully contributed to his Invitation (how could we not?)...
Then the boys scattered to do their MathsWhizz exercises. Middle and Youngest couldn't wait to "upgrade" (Middle's word) the zoo, so maths was quickly completed - hooray! Eldest wasn't interested in the zoo - I had suspected as much as he is growing up (pause for Mummy to let go a bit more of the idea that he is my little boy, sigh) - so I had a challenge up my sleeve for him, and told him it was written on a piece of his favourite-coloured card which he had to find in the lounge. He found it after a short while of looking, read it, and rolled his eyes cheekily at me...
I said he could use my ipad, and he quickly found the appropriate apps on it. I left him to experiment and went to see how his brothers were getting on with their zoo. it was fab! They had really got stuck in (literally in Youngest's case as he wrestled with the parcel tape). I "helped" them by cutting some strips of card to the proper size, choosing the right animals out of the box who would be in a zoo, and advising them on the best places to put things - and then I woke up out of my zombie-like stupor of petty control, slapped myself mentally, and took myself quickly out of their way to let them create freely without further interference. Meanwhile Eldest was becoming frustrated that none of the ten (!) music apps I had put on my ipad were any good for what he wanted to do. After encouraging him to persist for a while to explore what each app could do, he finally said "Why can't I just go on GridClub? I know how to do what I want there!". Another mental slap - it hadn't occurred to me that he might have an idea how to do it already, just assumed that he would need a specific app (if I'd known, I would have left the app bit out of the challenge). I don't think he remembered either to begin with though, and I was just glad that he did - eventually - remember Spin and Groove, as he made a nice little piece of music on it. It's a pity that I have no idea how to link to it here, but never mind, he did really well!
It wasn't long before Middle and Youngest were ready to show me their zoo - they had found some Playmobil people to use as zoo-visitors, and I laughed, asking where the zombies had come from (because they were missing the tops of their heads and were brainless). The boys thought that was hilarious, so it has been named "Zombie Zoo". And I don't care that the frogs have an exhibit larger than that of the killer whales, or that the penguins are the same height as the giraffe, or even that there are supposedly extinct dinosaurs in the zoo... it is glorious, because it is theirs, and I just love it!
So the strewn books have yet again been ignored due to having too much fun elsewhere, although Middle and Youngest almost played Dobble before deciding the zoo was more appealing. I don't mind one bit - maybe I'll try a day with less invitations and more strewing to see if that is any more effective. Right now I'm just glad that my Provocations are being so well received. And as long as I stay out of the way, hopefully that will continue for many, many days.