A place to share ideas about play in a Prep classroom

Posts tagged ‘imagination’

R is for Rumpus – Where the Wild Things Are

Our sound for the week was /r/ and the timimg couldn’t have been more perfect because after lots of preparation, we were ready for our wild rrrrrrrumpus. We had been enjoying Maurice Sendak’s classic story Where the Wild Things Are and had made lots of preparations for our rumpus. I believe that children are capable and competent and in our classroom the children are given lots of opportunities to express themselves creatively. An example of this is when they decided to make masks. We discussed what kinds of materials they needed to make their masks and the children set to work. The children wanted to draw their mask shape onto coloured cardboard and then cut it out. (I rarely give them a template as I like the children to think for themselves.) The only input I had in this process was helping them with the eyes for their masks, as they needed to be able to see for the rumpus.The children either drew the shapes themselves or they told me the shape they wanted and I helped them cut it out. Once cut out, they decorated their masks any way they wanted using materials from the collage trolley.


With the masks underway, some of the other children made the forest where the wild things live. They used our waffle blocks for tree trunks and fabric for the tree tops, roots and forest floor.








Two of the children decided to make Max a boat so he could sail away to Where the Wild Things Are –




  When the boat was finished, the children used fabric, to make the ocean.




Our giant boa constrictor reminded the children of the first wild thing Max meets,( the one in the water), and so they decided to make him a wig and horns so he looked like the one in the book.


 It took a few tries before they had the horns the way they wanted them.

Sadly I forgot to take a photo of the “wild thing” boa constrictor!




Finally all was ready for the rrrrrrrumpus!

The wild things rrrrrrrroared their terrible rrrrrrroars…………..


and gnashed their terrible teeth………….


and rrrrrolled their terrible eyes………….










and showed their terrible claws…………..



Until Max said “Be still………………….”




and they made him king of all the wild things……………










and now said Max “let the wild rumpus start……………..”. We even had our own jungle beat to “rumpus” to.




Then Max sent them off to bed without their supper…………..



He wanted to be where someone loved him best of all. So he waved goodbye to the wild things………………………..


and sailed away back home…… We loved our rrrrrumpus and had lots of fun being wild things for the rrrrrrest of the term. 

Learning Statements –

Imagining and Responding

Oral Language

Fine and Gross Motor skills

Sense of Self and Others



Where the Wild Things Are – Clay Creations

“The night Max wore his wolf suit………..” is the beginning of the much loved book Where the Wild Things Are. A book we have been exploring over the past few weeks and which has stimulated lots of opportunities for the children to be imaginative and creative. We have acted out the story using props and paper wild things, retold it using puppets, created a forest and masks and had our own rumpus using musical instruments and also used clay to create our own wild things. This is the first in a series of posts about these experiences.







Prior to making our clay creations we had many discusiions about the illustrations in the book, looking at the kinds of body parts and features of the “wild things”. We noticed that all of them had 2 legs but the legs were very different in size, shape and covering. We observed that their heads were very different, as were their bodies, and that some had tails and some didn’t. We looked at all the similarities and differences and using this prior knowledge, began creating their own wild things, out of the clay.







I wanted the children to make their wild thing without adding pieces ( because these tend to fall off when dry) so each child was given quite a large piece of fairly soft, air drying clay and  decided which way up they wanted it to be.   I discussed with each child what ideas they had for their “wild thing” and nearly all the children wanted to have 2 legs although some had none, 1 child made his quite flat and another child wanted 3 legs. The children found “karate chopping” the base in the centre was the easiest way to mould the clay for legs. Once they were happy with the legs, with or without feet and claws, they shaped the body, making decisions about arms, wings, shape and size. Sometimes they shaped the head before deciding on body features and sometimes the head was part of the body. It was up to them what they wanted, I viewed my role in this process as a sounding board for their ideas.

The head was the focus of lots of conversations, as they considered the kind of head and features they wanted. Usually, children make the head first when drawing, so it was interesting to observe how they went about this experience with the head being one of the last things to be made. Sometimes the children found they needed to modify the body to ensure they had enough clay for the head. So the whole creative process involved a lot of thinking and problem solving.

This "wild thing" has stripes.









Once they were happy with the shape of their wild things, the children used a pencil to create texture and add more features.


Once they were air dry, the children wanted to paint their wild things………. with yellow eyes of course, so Max could stare into them and tame them! (I had initially planned to leave them unpainted but the children really wanted to paint them.)









Here are some of the finished Wild Things.














Learning Statements-

Imagining and Responding


Fine Motor Skills

Social and Personal Learning