| | | |

his sword and weapons project

Share Wildflower Ramblings!

his swords and weapons - project based learning - wildflower ramblings

John has been slaying dragons {and Captain Hook}.  This is his passion.  To wielding a sword wherever he is.  It doesn’t matter the time or the place, he has a sword at the ready.

A sweet story about the defender and protector of our home….

Daddy was in the bathroom getting ready for work he heard John creeping up …. John, with sword in hand and his sword pouch {a cardboard tube} tucked in his underwear, snuck around the corner, and upon seeing Dad, breathed a sigh of relief, sheathed his sword, saying, “Oh good, I thought you were a bad guy!”

I have wanted to cultivate his interest in swords, grow it, encourage it.  He has made swords out of everything from a stick to Legos  to, his sword of choice, Fort Magic tubes.  Here is a photo-recap of what our lives have been like over the past couple months.  {And, yes, that is Peter Pan you see.  I cut a simple tshirt and pants, and bought this hat from Etsy.}  He has worn it {almost} every day since his fourth birthday in August.


What is project-based learning?

Project learning is following your child’s interest, and giving them the time, materials, and encouragement to create something based on those interest.  The child has “ownership of ideas, the control of decision making” (Pickert, 15).

There are simple steps to encourage your child to create and learn about an interest:

  • Identify the interest
  • Prepare the environment
  • Set aside time to cultivate that interest

These are, of course, broad and sweeping steps.  But the moment we respect their excitement about a particular subject, that is when we can help them create.  I highly recommend Lori Pickert’s Project Based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self-Directed Learners {affiliate link}.  I am learning so much from this book; I am not an expert.  But just like my son is learning, I am open to new teaching and parenting ideas.

DSC02266 John’s grandma made him this sword pouch out of ribbon, a bag, and some duct tape, while we were at her house one day.  He had already created his own sword, out of Fort Magic.  He had been using a simple band of fabric that I had cut out with him,, but he was getting frustrated with the lack of a “sword pouch”.  So this one was his favorite for a while.  He didn’t make it with his hands, per say, but he was involved with the “how tos” of creating it, and he is very particular with the details!!  We have made many other sword pouches along the way.DSC01482 John wanted to work on his own sword one day at the table.  I gave him the supplies he requested : paper, scissors, tape, stapler, glue stick.  He made his own little sword.DSC01483DSC01481John also asked for more books about swords.  We went through a series of questions he had about swords, I wrote them down for him in his project notebook. DSC01664We went to the library and came home with books mostly focused on the Middle Ages and the time of knights.  John loved it.  DSC01665DSC01669
After reading his books, he became increasingly interested in the bow and arrow.  He realized that he could make a bow with more Fort Magic pieces.  We strung some string along the end to make it flexible, then we used sticks to make his own arrows.

DSC02254John learned quickly how to shoot at a target.  We made a target from a box, a cardboard circle we cut out together, against a pillow on his bed.  We talked about the importance of safety with using his weapon.DSC02280John was then given the opportunity to do target practice outside with daddy, with a real bow and arrow.  We have a smaller bow, a gift from his grandpa, which we didn’t think we’d be using this soon, at four years old, but he took it very seriously.DSC02701He collected his own arrows.DSC02697 DSC02698
DSC02700 DSC02702 His Peter Pan hat and sword were at the ready next to his target practice.DSC02705DSC02576 Next, John really wanted to make his very own sword.  I consider this his first real homemade, all-by himself, project.  This was done with no prompting by me.  He had been making sword from Lego Duplos, but they always fell apart during a battle, so he asked me if he could use some of my duct tape.  Yes of course dear one!!DSC02577He took so much care in taping this together.DSC02578 DSC02585 DSC02591Another interesting aspect about this project is John’s need for a different sword pouch, almost every day.  He has created them out of cardboard tubes, most recently.  He attaches it either through pulling it tight, with tape, from looping it, or making other various knots, which he enjoys practicing, using his fine motor skills.DSC03132 He also wanted to cover his Fort Magic Sword with aluminum foil, which I was happy to help with.  He is a perfectionist and can get upset if things don’t go just right, so I want to respect that, while also encouraging these little ideas to be creations of his own!DSC04110 Little sister also has gotten a chance to wear sword pouches and has learned the art of sword fighting.DSC04113

Here she is with a farm animal fence wrapped around her waist, with a paper pouch, made by John.DSC04750

My big boy, with his latest: a sword pouch and a money pouch.  He is always so proud of these creations and I am so happy that I am encouraging his learning and playing time.

I have avoided the urge to buy him these things.  He has often asked for a “real sword pouch,” and instead of buying one, we have made one together.  The same could be said for his recent Buzz Lightyear interest.  Instead of buying him a costume, we made a jetpack out of a cardboard box.  His wings were sticks tied to his back just yesterday in the backyard.  These open his mind to create, rather than simply consume.  It’s sometimes harder, because he can get frustrated, but look at the pride here that he has — no store-bought belt or pouch or costume could give him that kind of satisfaction!DSC04766 For more ideas on project learning, check out these incredible posts :

A human body project from An Everyday Story

The sunflower project from An Everyday Story

Exploring electricity from An Everyday Story

Bones project from Racheous

A honeybee project from Happiness is Here

Birdhouse project from Happiness is Here

Pokemon project from Memoirs of a Childhood


Share Wildflower Ramblings!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *