No matter what game Kenz and I start with, it always seems to evolve into something else. If I try to direct the scenes, they balloon like a hernia into a 'nother crazy scenario. Here's one of our trails.
Yesterday Kenzie came over after preschool. In the open space of the playroom, she immediately started a project for us. Paper from my printer, a small pillow, her Hello Kitty scissors and an orange colored pencil were the tools. I sprawled out on the floor next to her and did some mini-Pilate moves while she cut strips in the paper.
"We are making a tiger, Nana," she decided, as she carefully orange lined the paper cuts. "We need glue."
After a hunt for the glue we were back to the clearing in the jungle.
Oops, she forgot something and was up and into the bathroom, coming back with a paper towel. She glued the paper towel to the white page and squeezed some big big drops of Elmers on top.
I held back from saying, No, what are you doing? I wanted to see where she was going. I don't think she knew--- which was OK. Soon there were 'pickies' of paper for eyes and a mouth turned down--- a sad tiger.
"It's for Daba," she said happily, "he's gonna love it."
We presented the soggy pages to him just as he began nodding off for an afternoon nap.
"It's a tiger Daba, isn't he cool?" It was a mass of wet glue on paper with cuts and stripes. I intervened and suggested that we put the animal outside to dry.
Tiger was soon forgotten because the next thing we are going to play Nana is .... "shoe store." The name she invented (today) for shoe store was my favorite---"Red Bag Shoes." The store got it's name from an American Home Shield bag that I had got as a promo at a Real Estate seminar last year. She had dug it out from the closet to package the shoes I bought, after she measured my foot on her dry erase board that holds the magnetic letters. The shoe store, (shoes lining the top of the bookcase)metamorphosed into a "modeling store" and Kenz had to change her outfit three times to find one that went with the purple sandals she bought when it was my turn to be the clerk. (The audio that accompanies these journeys puts the frosting on the cake.) The babies all needed new shoes too, so I became the mother and the clerk and then the clerk's mother. (Where did she get that word clerk?) The babies all wanted the same exact pair of shoes and started fighting amongst themselves so the model had to remove the babies to time-out . The model couldn't decide on shoes for herself. "Models don't wear crocs Nana." The shoe store closed and the model put on her play clothes. "Nana how bout we play mailbox now. I'm the mail person and you check your mailbox ....and..."
This insanity... I mean creative wanderings is how children play. Try it. Don't interrupt. Don't steer. Just be and you'll see what I mean. To those of you who engage in the wild and zany play of children, be glad--- it can take you places you would never, never, never find on your own.
I gotta go now, I gotta go check on Tiger.