- I observed two boys about 8 years old preparing "acorn soup" for each other in the Underland kitchen. Once the soup was ready, they carefully selected their wooden bowls, sat across from each other at the stump table, and enthusiastically ladled out the soup - exclaiming how good it was going to taste, and what they'd cook up next.
– Jennifer, Director of Development
- “Lets eat,” said the rabbit to the cicada, while the salamander jammed on the marimba. A child said, “Sit down. I’ll make the food.” She busied herself with pine cones and acorns stirred in hollowed out wooden bowls with carved sticks. The rabbit hopped up. “I’m getting some real food,” he said, dashing outside. He returned with some leaves and mulch bark.
– Janice, Executive Director
- An 8-year-old girl: “You know how in the movies when they have music to show emotions? That’s what I was doing on the xylophone in there, but it was hard to sound like I was feeling.”
- A 4 or 5 year old made a bridle from a jump rope for the bunny as she rode on its back.
- A mom said to a small child, “Look, are those dinosaur ribs?”
The child responded, “Dinosaurs love ribs, they eat them all the time.”
- “I’ve never been so happy!”
- “I tried to go up two times but I was too scared. But then I went back again and I made it all the way to the top!”
- “That was AWESOME!”
- “I’m like a caterpillar on a giant leaf!”
- From one of the platforms: “This is my island! You can come here too.”
- “Wow, I can see the whole city from here!”
- Heard coming from the top: “I can see my house!” “No you can't!” “I can! Look - it's over there!”
- “We can spy on people!”
- To those on the ground: “You look so tiny!”
- A 10-year-old boy asked his mom, “Do you have your phone? Time me from up to down!” She cheered him on the whole way. One minute 5 seconds – not bad!
- “Want to see me go higher?”
- “At this exact point in time, I'm at the tippity-toppest part!”
- “This is my third time going up! The second time is harder, the third time you get better.”
- Children climb like monkey trapeze artists – the grace and assurance of their bodies navigating the space combined with the playful, quick movements of monkeys. They don’t seem to be bothered at all by the laws of gravity!
- Kids hold onto one platform to swing down to the one below, using their momentum to slide and wriggle through another platform or two.
- When a space fills up with kids, they help push one another along, flipping their feet over or pointing out which way to go next, negotiating their space and movement.
- There is not one way to go up or down – I’ve seen feet first, head first, side first, even splits!
- After making it up and down once, they do it again and talk about having to go another way because they had already tried this one. One child asked, “How many ways could we get up this thing?”