My grandma, who passed last year, used to have this shed in the back of her yard. It was filled to the brim with all kinds of wonderful treasures. Whenever we would visit, my sisters and I would spend hours in there playing. You see, my grandma was never really one to get rid of things, you never know when you might need them again after all.
Grandma’s shed, and the time I spent in there with my sisters, is one of my fondest childhood memories.
My dad, quite sweetly, knows this and so has set about turning his shed into a wonderland for Jack (3.5yrs) and Sarah (19mths). The other day I came across a dusty box, in it was my grandfather’s old slide collection and his, quite amazingly, still operational ancient old slide viewer. What fun!
My grandfather was quite the avid photographer and these slides, most of them more than 30 years old are like tiny little windows into the past. I had never seen them before and some of them are magnificent. This was just as fascinating for me as it was for Jack.
I set them up on the light panel so the colours would pop through. Can you believe how vibrant they are still after all this time? They were beautiful. Jack was completely enamoured by them. You might remember I gave him my old camera and so he has been interested in photos for a little while now. This was a nice way to extend that interest further.
Just as fascinating on the OHP. I do love seeing our playroom walls projected with light.
One thing that really interested me though, that I hadn’t considered, were the baby photos. There were a lot of slides with photos of me, my sisters, my parents and our cousins when we were babies. I tried to explain to Jack that that was me when I was a baby. But he was confused, ‘No Mummy. You’re big. That’s a baby.’
To help him understand I set up this simple inquiry shelf in the playroom. The book Guess the Baby is a lovely little story about a preschool teacher who asks his class to all bring in baby photos of themselves. The children then have to guess which photo belongs to which child.
There’s also some small laminated photos of Jack when he was a baby, old photo albums with photos of a much younger Mummy and Daddy, the slides and viewer as well as two small hand mirrors (one for Sarah) so Jack can compare how he looks now to when he was a baby.
Sarah’s not particularly interested in the slides but she is fascinated by the photo cards. She has surprised me really at how well she is able to recognise each person in the photo.
I’m thinking now about how I can extend this interest even further… maybe some self portraits with some small vanity mirrors. I know dad has some of those in his shed. Might be time for another trip.
I love that these photos, these memories, have been found again. I love that they are being used and explored and cherished. I love that something so old, can capture the imagination of a small boy.
I guess Grandma was right, you never know when you might need them again.