Posts Tagged ‘Play-Doh’

Think for a minute, darling: in fairy tales it’s always the children who have the fine adventures. The mothers have to stay at home and wait for the children to fly in the window. (Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler’s Wife)

The scene below could be an exploded toy box. A definite trip hazard. But, Ella has a plan in mind. She has decided today is Mickey Mouse’s birthday, a favorite theme. Bunny is his best friend. The building blocks represent a work in progress—for Mickey. The lumps of Play-Doh, albeit dry, are the blue dog’s food.

Each item has a purpose in play. However, the whole gets Grandma a little dizzy. I anticipate work for both me and the vacuum cleaner. Sure, the old table cloth is present for a reason. But its surface could be compared to a mesh bag. Not really suitable for holding items smaller than the holes. My beloved rug is at risk.

Sure, I could set stronger limits. But, the beauty of my little girl’s imagination is worth the fifteen-to-twenty-minute cleanup later.

She imagines a castle. The thin blocks become a road. Empty plastic eggs contain invisible treasures. For at least a moment, messiness becomes understandable as each part takes on meaning. At least from a child’s point of view.

And I wish this explained disorderliness could be transferred into real life, where judgment is quick. Hate is resolved with more hate. Greed is seen as success. Me-as-the-center-of-the-universe remains unrecognized as a problem.

Mickey is happy with everything he gets. Friendships occur without any awareness that Bunny is several times larger than Mickey, and she is a different color as well as a different species. The toys on the shelf are sufficient; Ella asks for nothing more.

The play area has now been cleared and cleaned. My husband and I need to walk through without getting injured.

However, another scattered drama will probably appear another day. Bringing further adventure. My agenda will remain on hold.

Ella will give the next lesson, without knowing she is the teacher.

imagination toys on floor

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