Outside In: Walking and making a labyrinth

Welcome to the FrostArt ‘Outside In’ blog 

Thank you for joining in. If you have ideas that you would like to try let me know and they could be included.

It would be great to see what is made, so please take pictures of what you make and we can share them here.

For most of workshop activities you are likely to need some tools and materials. Collect them together and put them in a box or drawer will mean you know where they are each time. A box for indoor making and one for outdoors might be a good idea too if you have space.

I thought it would be fun to show you what I have been doing this week. 

I have been cutting a labyrinth on the green near our house. It is being used by lots of families for playtimes and exercise because they can’t use the playground
My reason for starting this was partly just for fun, because we all need some right now, and partly because I was aware of all the restrictions on children and families who are finding it hard to keep children busy and happy, so this is a way to support others locally. My family do not live near, we see them via internet, so Skype and Zoom have been really great for keeping in touch, chatting and regular story times but that is not at all the same as having hugs and playing together in homes, gardens or playgrounds.

 

I invited people to use it via the local Big Eye Spy face book page, families have been making use of it as part of their regular daily exercise and outdoor play. Some dogwalkers have been making use of it too, but I hear that the dogs cheat!
Walking the labyrinth is a great and safe way to meet up and share the experience with friends or family while doing some exercise, we all need reassurance and encouragement to be positive. I heard from one mum who is very grateful to have somewhere safe to take her children because they had begun to be afraid of going out of their garden. Mental health is more important than ever when times are uncertain and families need to find ways to share safe spaces and good experiences.
Some families have used the opportunity to learn about labyrinths in history or stories.
Do you know the difference between a labyrinth and a maze?
There is only one path in a labyrinth so you can’t get lost, in a maze there are lots of ways to lose your way.
Who was the Minotaur and where did he come from?
There is a labyrinth in the floor at the entrance of Ely Cathedral, the pathway is the same length as the height of the west tower.
What else can you find out about labyrinths, is there one near you?
There are lots of instructions available online for making labyrinths and mazes. These can be done using paper and pencil or on a larger scale, with Lego, stones or sticks to make the pathway.
The Labyrinth society has information about labyrinths all over the world, including visiting times to some and instructions about making one yourself.
You could make temporary pathways in different places each time you go out for a walk, they don’t have to be very long.
I am sure there are similar spaces in every community that could be used for simple and creative activities while families have limited access to play equipment. This was not a difficult thing to do and the space was available but not well used, especially with the children not going to school. Pathways indicate to others that friends or family can come and walk there too, so it is a good way to share the space even if not at the same time.
Cutting the grass in a pattern means cutting less, so uses less fuel and allows grasses and flowers to grow. This can be a really good way to encourage wildlife to thrive in the spaces as well.
Enjoy the journey!