August 13, 2013 by Rua Lupa
What you don’t see very often these days is a wild field of grass, and whenever there is a wild field of grass, most parents don’t let their children in there because of safety concerns. The vast majority of time those concerns are overblown (some bumps and scrapes are a healthy part of childhood and should be expected if any fun is going to be had. Otherwise it gets real boring fast.) and would argue that a field of wildgrass would encourage more creative play than a constructed playground.
Grasses can be amazing sources of creativity in so many ways because of their varied structures – from pliable blades to stiff stems, the possibilities can be endless for imaginative play.
The softer aspects can be woven into cords to make jewelry, toys, or structures. The stiffer components can maintain the desired shape (i.e. parts of limbs or back of toy creature, the rod of a fishing rod, the walls or roof of building etc.) or be decorative elements incorporated into a woven pattern of jewelry or hat.
Speaking of hats – there are so many cultures around the world that have made their cultural hat made from their native grasses such as panama, conical and boater hats. You can just as easily create a new pattern as your own cultural expression. All you have to do with the age of the internet is search ‘weaving hat’ to get a start on a fun new skill.
Grass skirts are another item that can be made. Most traditional grass skirts are actually not grass, being made from various plant fibers such as bark strips. But that shouldn’t stop you from having some creative fun. Grass skirts are usually seen as traditional clothes in many different cultures from Polynesia to Africa.
But one of the most basic and kid friendly is Mazes! The ways of making mazes can be limitless. One of which is to tie hoop tunnels (see below). Not only are these very simple (being a simple knot that has the ends slipped back through the other side) it provides a means for more imaginative play. Having made one such maze by the playground nearby, I had the opportunity to see children from age 4 to 12 have a real good time. With the older ones keen on leaning how to make it themselves and expanding the maze. It is surprisingly fun to go through for all ages.
So go out there, find some wild grasses and get creative!
On a side note there are also these fun plants you could find among the grasses. Bladder Campion (Silene vulgaris). What you can do with them is hold the open end closed with one hand and smack it with the other like a blown up paper bag and you get a mini POP sound.
Have Fun 😀