This morning, I set up the back room a little differently than usual, plugging in our old projector and arranging a few translucent magnet tiles on its surface. The colorful shapes projected on the wall quickly drew OP's interest, who invited LD to come check it out: "Come and see something cool!" The two spend a few minutes rearranging the tiles before LD heads over to the stair toy: "This is our fishing boat!" OP looks up with a huge grin at this suggestion and moves over to the wall, reaching for a projection of a green triangle magnet: "Try to reach the pear! I made us a pear. These are trees!"
This imagination leads them both quickly to the next stage of the game: setting up a picnic! As OP spreads the blanket out for them, LD announces: "yeah, because it's my birthday! And this is still our fishing boat, ok?" At this point, CK and EK join the back room and we catch them up to speed on the game already in progress. CK is instantly interested in joining the food-based, boat game with LD, while EK heads right to the projector. EK builds an intricate magnet structure and notices that it doesn't show up on the wall -- we work together to push it higher and realize the bottom strip of the projection is actually on the floor and not the wall!
While this game continues, EK, LC, and AH have meanwhile discovered that they can project their own hands' shadows on the wall, and have turned this into a game of trying to "catch" each others shadows as one or two people head over to the wall to jump and reach for them. EK sets his book on the projector, and a large black shadow now fills most of the wall. Everyone pauses to check this out, and I ask: "Why do you think we can't see the colors of the book on the wall?"
LC: "Because it's not facing down!" She turns it over, but we are met with the same result. The children quickly go back to projecting their own hands, preoccupied with other things. I hope we get to follow up on this question another time, perhaps with a small group! JN arrives and is thrilled to join the game of jumping to reach the shadows. Before long, most if not all of the children are involved in the game to catch each others hands on the wall -- this goal intersects well with the action-packed nature of the never-ending fishing boat journey, and many of the characters from that game run and leap off the boat to reach for shadows, too.