Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Simplest Things

Last week, I was desperately trying to get Sarah out of my hair. (This is a recurring theme in our house.) Only this time, I wasn't just seeking a minute of calm and silence. I was actually attempting to get some chores done. Offers of Crayons, balls, even an episode of Elmo were all rejected. Then, a little neuron in my brain wiggled and triggered the memory of a passage from one of my hundreds of barely used child rearing books which suggested letting kids play with uncooked beans and rice.

At this point, I was willing to let her play with my credit card on eBay, but I figured playing with the beans and rice was a bit more economical and less likely to result in something like a mango splitter showing up in our mailbox. So, I found an empty sour cream container and filled it with beans and rice and threw in a handful of popcorn kernels for luck (It's an old Aztec ritual).

Skeptically, I handed the container and some old spoons to the kid on the porch. She took the offering as if a plate of jewels had been laid before her. For the time required to wash dishes, throw in a load of laundry and pick up most of the debris scattered across our livingroom, the child was completely entertained. A complete success! Gosh, it makes me wonder what other gems are hidden in those books.

Even this morning, Sarah begged me to let her play with the beans and rice again.


At 2:57 PM, Anonymous Grandpaw said...

Mike and Cathy could play all day with bocks and pieces of just plain old wood. I never saw the educational value in these projects, but I guess, in the long run, it stimulated their inner selves to be creative. Same for Sarah. What fun to create a playing environment based on dried beans, uncooked rice, and popcorn kernels. Maybe some day she will become a chef!

At 1:57 PM, Blogger NCD said...

Thanks for the idea, I think I love the Mango Splitter! Just what my kitchen needs!

At 3:09 PM, Blogger J Fife said...

Grandpaw - The blocks and wood must have been very useful after all. Mike and Cathy are both so creative. I don't know what the beans, rice and popcorn will do for Sarah. For now, I'm just glad that they bought me some free time.

N - The mango splitter does rock. In fact, there is one en route to our house.


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