A chimpanzee in a tutu…



I love how ideas come to mind and that we have the ability and freedom to roll with them. In my bid to say “yes” more I have found that their ideas can be brought to life (within reason) more or less right away.

Joseph had been poring over the beautiful atlas that we have and was looking intently at the Africa map and information. “I want this costume”, he said, pointing to the Dogon people of Mali illustration. “I need a mask, a skirt and stilts Mummy”. He already owns a green tutu so suggested he got that and that he wanted a mask to match. We got right to it collecting card, elastic and a white pen. I drew out the mask shape and cut out the eye holes and he drew the decoration and cut the whole mask out.


Alice became interested at this point so took the atlas and looked at the same page. She pointed to the chimpanzee illustration and said “Monkey mask please”. The same then happened with lots of laughter about Mummy’s lack of chimpanzee drawing skills. She already has a costume so put that on. Obviously her brother was wearing his tutu so she needed hers, despite Joseph’s argument that the chimpanzee wasn’t even wearing a tutu!

With both children in masks, tutus and costumes, we danced round the kitchen to African music. Possibly not in the true style of the Dogon people of Mali but an interpretation. I’m glad the stilts didn’t feel like a necessary add on to the ensemble as I was struggling to think of something safe and easy that could be used…

Lots of laughter, crazy dancing and colour filled the room for the next hour and I looked at them and thought how much I love their enthusiasm for learning and intrigue of the world…plus their complete craziness!

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