From Dream to Reality and What Comes In Between
My last post was a plea for a play hive for our Co-op Kids. I’m happy to report that it has become a reality! This dream of ours began with an invitation to join a secret Facebook group of like-minded, play-based educators where we share what’s happening in our programs through photos and discussions. I saw the most wonderful play hive, asked questions of others who have built one for their school, and decided that we must have one! Every year in the spring we have a Spring Clean and Crawfish Boil. This is a Saturday when all our enrolled families come to the Co-op and lend a hand with yard maintenance (we have two live oak trees and oh, the leaves!), painting, cleaning, and power washing. We usually build something too. Our parents have built us a pergola and turned a defunct outdoor sensory station into a very useful “tree house” in recent years, so we knew that they would be up for building the play hive. So, we have the man power. Next came the inevitable question, “How can we afford it?” The answer? A fundraiser of course but not just any fundraiser would do. We decided to “sell boards”. We would accept donations for the lumber to build said hive and for every family who donated money, we would burn their family name into the hive. Our wonderful families were generous with their donations and within a few weeks we had enough to purchase all the supplies! The weekend before the big day, our very own Thomas Gresham came up to the Co-op and single handedly turned 50 2X4’s into about 500 hundred blocks of various sizes. We were ready!
The Saturday of the Annual Clean-up Day and Crawfish Boil dawned and it was going to be beautiful. Just the right temperature to make you glad you were going to spend the day outside. The volunteers arrived and quickly got to work on clearing the leaves out of the area where the hive would be constructed. The perimeter was set and re-set, and probably re-set again. This was the most important piece since every additional block would be built upon it. Our carpenters were meticulous in setting the base. It was several hours before they got into a rhythm and the hive began to take shape. All the other work around the Co-op had been tackled and the crawfish arrived, but no one wanted to stop building and eat! Finally it was decided that they would tag in and out, a few taking a break to eat at a time. The play hive was finished later that afternoon. It was one of our most complicated builds to date, and we wouldn’t have it but for the dedication of our families who raised the money for the project and who gave up a whole Saturday to stay and build this for us. We want to extend a special thanks to Ben, Ethan, Thomas G., Chris, Annie, Thomas B., Will, Haley, and Allison who stayed late and saw the build through to the end!
For a full gallery of the whole build, visit our Facebook page.