Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Making Cake

This afternoon almost everyone gravitated towards the piles of bark chips that are under the climbing structure in the front yard.  As I approached to see what was happening the words "cake" and "eat" were floating around.  SW was inside of the structure handing out handfuls of bark chips to T and SC as the cake was being created.  "Here's some more!" he said, reaching through the bars.  T happily lifted up the already heaping pot up for more.  T patted the top and said "more! All done." then quickly dumped the pot so it could be refilled.

"It's time to put it in the oven," explains SW.  He points around the side of the play structure and SC quickly takes the filled pot and dumps it.  SW begins the process again, this time talking about the different qualities of what the cake is made out of: chocolate, carrots, candy.  GW was also keeping a close eye on everything we were doing as he rode all of the different bikes. 

This was one of the first times that everyone had participated in an imaginative play game initiated by one of their peers for a long period.  There were moments where their play paused to notice things that came into their play sphere: the discovery of fallen magnolia petals, the skeleton of a leaf that was so satisfying to tear.  The other thing I noticed was the satisfaction that everyone felt in their role, which arose naturally.  SW was the guy in charge of handing out materials and telling what everyone what to do.  T tried to fit as many bark chips as possible into the pot and every so often SC would empty out the pot in a different spot.

Everyone worked smoothly together, and even gave each other reminders about keeping the chips in the rock boundary.  The power that each child felt at having a role and the flow at working together was palpable .  The play continued longer than any other game I have seen outside where almost everyone was playing together.  The natural social order and cohesion that has arisen speaks to how well everyone knows each other and is comfortable and confident at school.

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