Monday, May 16, 2011

Soup's On!

Dandelion Soup, Dandelion Soup

If I don't get some

I think I'm gonna Droop.

I had this “Dennis Lee Moment” today as I was watching a group of children throwing dandelions into a giant mud puddle at the park. The excitement generated by this activity was amazing. What makes a mud puddle so captivating? I found the process fascinating. At first all the dandelions floating in the puddle looked quite pretty. Festive even. Then they got the sticks. They stirred for several minutes when “F” excitedly exclaimed: “I have a new ingredient! Dandelion stumps!” So after the dandelion stumps had been added and stirred “L” said “It looks like chocolate pudding! Mmmm tastes good!” In response to my startled look in “L's” direction “C” assured me that: “He didn't ACTUALLY eat it!”

The dandelion soup made me think of the importance of this kind of sensory play. Seven children were around the same puddle smiling and talking with each other. They were engaged in cooperative play. They were working toward a common goal (Dandelion Soup) and they appeared to be valuing each others contributions.

I was also thinking of the art process. When the activity started it was quite beautiful with yellow dandelions floating in the puddle. An adult would have left it at that. Children seem to have the ability to think beyond that. A pretty product sometimes doesn't mean as much to children this age as a fun process. And believe me stirring up a pot of dandelion soup with dandelion stumps for added flavor is a fun process!

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