During a long free-play period on Friday I meandered over to see a group of kids building with plastic tinker-toys in the back of the room. One of them has an IEP goal of answering "wh" questions so I thought I'd take the opportunity to talk with him about a prefered subject- play.
"What are you making?" I asked.
"We're playing buried," he responded, not quite answering my question.
"Buried? What's that?" I asked, assuming I'd heard wrong. A good teacher would have repeated the question to prompt an answer to the exact original question, but now I was really confused/fascinated.
"Yo, Melissa," he crowed, like a construction worker on a site, "Tell Mrs. Lipstick what's buried."
Melissa, clearly the foreman on this adventure brushed her hair off her shoulder to explain in her crystal clear voice.
"We're playing buried. Right now we're making crosses for the buried people. Then we'll bury grandma in California. After we bury grandma we'll go to the Grand Buffet, which is an even better buffet than Lucky Moon!"
Finished with her short explanation she turned her attention back to her worker bees. "No, you hold it up like this" she demanded, "These are flowers, see" she adjusted a bouquet of tinker toy sticks with small buds on top.
I love how free play allows children to sort through their emotions and act out their lives.