I learned a lot this afternoon. Alex was vaguely bored and looking for a creative outlet for his hammer (Mama, help me build a house). He really didn’t have any direction to move forward until I suggested building a tent. Thank heavens for that emergency coffee stashed away in the fridge. The usual tunnel-made-of-sofa-cushions didn’t cut it today, so I started getting all creative on him.
Today’s construction involved just two cushion and a blanket, so it was called a tent. At the mention of a tent I got all choked up thinking about all the camping and backpacking I had done in my youth (alright, it was only a couple of years ago, but I’m feeling a bit old right now). Alex and I drew a map to a treasure chest on an island with a mountain, with a cave. Then Alex stocked up his backpack with supplies (or as he called it pliers): a bottle of water, some crackers, some cookies, a flashlight, a book, and some toy cars. He sat in his tent for a little bit, had a snack, got some pillows to make it comfortable, had some more snack, and then was again stuck for direction.
I made a cave out of a sofa cushion and stocked it with a toy mouse and lizard. We pretended to go on a hike, following the map to the mountain and the cave. Alex checked out the cave with his flashlight. At this point I must have been busy with JenJen, because the next thing I know is that he has extracted the toy mouse with his pliers.
Wish I had the words to describe all the cognition and learning that went on this afternoon. It was awesome to watch: pretend play at its finest, building, drawing, integrating parts of a story, random leaps of logic, problem solving,… I am so amazed.