I will never forget my first visit to the Children’s Museum in Philadelphia back in the 80’s. It’s called The Please Touch Museum and it’s a wonderful, hands-on museum. But, it wasn’t the typical fare of a great children’s museum that caught my eye.
It was the collection of Frank Lloyd Wright’s childhood blocks. He attributed his interest in architecture and building to his childhood blocks.
Of course he did!
I think this was the first time I realized what happens in childhood, in my classroom, has a marked impact on what happens in adulthood. I knew what I did for children would be incredibly important.
This year I have a classroom of builders. The simple maple wood blocks that Wright used as a child are the most popular item in my class. Legos are a close second, but blocks are #1. Thank goodness!
And, there’s more. my class loves nature. Frank Lloyd Wright did, too. His architecture was built into nature, as if the two were meant to live together in harmony. Well, he was right.
“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.” ~Frank Lloyd Wright~
My children love to find beetles, pick buttercups, plant in the garden, watch birds, and dig for worms. They still admire the Wish Tree now that leaves are growing around their wishes. Somehow I find it deeply satisfying to know that they are both builders and nature lovers. I think Frank Lloyd Wright would, too.