Pipe Cleaners, Pom Poms, and Free Play

It drives me crazy to have toys scattered across the whole room but I have learned that sometimes it is necessary for my daughter to use the whole room to create or act-out what she wants.  This week my daughter got out all of her pom poms and pipe cleaners; creating chaos in her bedroom.  When I saw it my first reactioon was to say "What a mess!  You better make sure you clean all of this up before dinner."  But I paused long enough to see my daughter in deep concentration building an imaginary world that I could not see. 

She was carefully twisting up one end of the pipecleaners and laying them out in a row that spanned the length of her room and then started wrapping around the edge of the wall.

I sat down next to her and asked her what she was making.  Like usual she said "I don't know".  So I asked what the pipecleaners were supposed to be and she said "Trees I think".  Then I asked about the hundred plus pom poms that covered her carpet and she told be that they were "bugs or maybe seeds". 

It is fasinating to watch a child create things.  A lot of time they are not even sure what they are creating till it's done.  Or, like with my daughter, one thing turns into something else which turns into something else.

By the time she was done playing (about 1.5 hours later) she had told me about trees and bugs (or seeds), flowers and rain, lollipops and M&Ms, snakes and eggs, and finally settled on dandelions and "the stuff you blow".

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