Consider this for a moment: when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
How might your learning space change when young learners have the opportunity to see the space from an elevated view? Or inches from the ground?
Is it possible that beautiful aspects of the classroom are hidden in plain sight, waiting for us to see them from a new angle?
What sorts of self-directed social play opportunities might arise in an environment equipped with flexible, open-ended play materials, modular furniture that encourages learners to experiment with new configurations, and a culture that empowers students to ask questions, take age-appropriate risks, and foster their curiosity?
The three stories that follow are energized by the power of imagination and our exceptional modular furniture. We hope that these tales will inspire you to push the boundaries of learning in your own spaces, and unlock new heights of creativity and exploration.
‘An Exciting Day,’ Inspired by Wonder Play Lofts
Excited by our new ‘rainbow bridge that reaches the sky’, my friends and I climbed to the top to see the classroom from above. We spotted our teacher reading stories, our friend Wei chopping up fruit, and circular light patterns the cozy corner lamp shade made on the ceiling above the front door.
I then noticed a colorful bag of fabric scraps tucked away beside the indoor shoes cubby. I asked for scissors and string to make parachutes.
As I thought about dropping my parachute from the rainbow bridge, I wondered what would fall faster. My blue car? The Hug Machine Book (my favourite book ever)? My teacher encouraged me to find out and helped me by fastening things to my parachute.
I discovered that gravity made my favourite book fall the fastest, but not as fast as me when I jumped off the steps with my parachute.
‘Set Sail on a Wobbly Sea,’ Inspired by The Share Bench
In a land not so far away, there were two beautiful benches that sat quietly in a classroom.
Everyday children would sit on them, read on them and sometimes even nap on them.
One day, something extraordinary happened. An imaginary thunderstorm storm appeared and magically transformed the two benches into a sturdy sailboat ready to sail the wobbly sea. The children were amazed as they saw the benches steering their way through the waves. They felt the salty sea breeze on their faces and listened to the crashing of the waves.
Just as the storm was settling, the benches transformed once again into a flying car and zoomed off into outer space. The children saw planets and stars whizzing past them and felt weightless and free as they soared through the galaxies.Eventually, the benches landed on a strange and yummy fruit and vegetable filled planet. The children collected broccoli trees, squashy oranges and peculiar shaped pears. The benches morphed into a shop front perfect for selling fruits and vegetables!
With our bellies full and an extraordinary adventure behind us, the benches once again became the perfect place for a comfy nap.
‘A Second Chance,’ Inspired by The ChopValue height-adjustable desk set (and a family of raccoons)
Once upon a time, a family of chopsticks, excited to be pulled from their paper cocoons and moved around in food that was eventually lifted into the mouths of people, were saddened when they were thrown away and taken to a massive, smelly landfill.
One day, a family of boisterous raccoons, searching the seas of garbage and stench for scraps of food, found the family of chopsticks.
“You look sad,” said the youngest raccoon to the youngest chopstick. “Why are you sad?”
The youngest chopstick said, “because the people only use us once and throw us away, and now we sit here forever, it seems.”
The eldest Raccoon said, “I know a wise old beaver who lives in the forest who makes things.” “Let us take you to the wise old beaver.”
With that, the family of racoons collected the family of chopsticks and took them to the wise old beaver in the woods. When they arrived, the wise old beaver took one look at the family of chopsticks and said “yippee, you’ve arrived!” “Let’s make you special again!”
The wise old beaver in the woods fashioned the family of chopsticks into a beautiful set of reclining lawn chairs perfect for the family of mice that lived in a den down by the brook.
From that day forward, millions of chopstick families from around the world found their way to the wise old person in the woods, and were transformed into the most beautiful furniture in the world.