"There's tiny, shiny rocks."
"They're crystals, I think."
You're right! They are crystals. A specific kind of crystals called salt.
"Oh I know salt! We use that while we cook!"
"Yeah, it's really spicy."
I thought you might have heard of salt before. This salt is very special. It has big pieces. You can feel it in your hands and play with it today. What else do you know about salt? Where does it come from?
"From rocks, I think."
"The water at the beach is salty"
"I want to see that."
"As big as mama!"
"As big as me!"
The children's conversations continued as the delved into the deliciously sensorial experience of pouring, scooping, feeling and using the trays of salt. The play evolved into a sorting of the salt crystals into a color gradient, from darkest to lightest.. The children carefully placed one tiny piece into the palette and enjoyed the process of hunting for their favorites.
Our exploration of salt encouraged the children to create stories as they worked with their hands and the small containers. It evolved over time, but had the same theme: this is real and part of our world.