Thursday, 9 April 2015

The Adventures of Tintin and Snowy

My husband and I began our life together in a little two bedroom apartment in the leafy lower north shore of Sydney. We were minutes on the train from our respective workplaces and we dearly loved the home we created. Before our first anniversary our honeymoon baby arrived. There we stayed for a further eighteen months before we welcomed our second baby at our new three bedroom home.

Back when we were living in our little apartment, my husband would go for evening walks. One particular evening there were a stack of boxes on the council strip ready for the council pick up. Leafing through he came across a perfectly good copy of The Adventures of Tintin 'Destination Moon'. He tucked it under his arm with happy thoughts of passing it on to our son and so put it away in a box for later date.

Tintin and Snowy off an adventure, the
very one that was to take Master 5 and
Miss 3 off on their own wonderful
Three years on our son, an early reader, discovered the very copy Destination Moon and really took to it. Now six months later, he's read nineteen of the twenty four Tintins which Hergé wrote. Miss 3 who picks up on all of Master 5's interests is also 'reading' and enjoying Tintin, Snowy, and their adventures.

What this has meant for them has been an enormous injection of "material" into their creative play, second only to their Lego City characters. They are having adventures all over the home. They take on the roles of Tintin and Snowy, each taking turns. Last night, for a bit of variety, they role played Thomson and Thompson, the two 'funniest' characters in the book. They set up an office and were busy with their drawings, and receiving phone calls from Tintin himself. It's all very animated and can become increasing energetic and noisy! They drag anything that's not bolted down - from pillows, cushions, blankets, quilts, baskets, the blue and heshion shopping bags full of collected items... to bring into their play. I've learnt to just let it happen around me. They clean up at the end of the day so having them completely occupied for hours on end is a small payoff for having all their props out at the same time.

Their vocabulary is expanding quite rapidly, including additions such as Captain Haddock's "blue blistering barnacles" and Professor Calculus's "I'd say..."  The rest of the family are bystanders to all this movement and expression throughout the day. It's really quite amazing to see just how the right books at the right time can inspire creativity and bring out the best in their imagination.

As Sir Ken Robinson posted on social media Facebook recently "Education is not preparation. The first 18 years of life are not a rehearsal. Children are living their lives now." One only has to take a glimpse at the activity that happens in the privacy and quiet of the home or at the park to see all this in reality.

How do you see your children role play their favourite characters?

And who has been to the Hergé Museum in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium? I'd love to hear your thoughts! We can't exactly go for a weekend trip but it would be fun to think about!
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