While the reading of a book holds great value, holding the story close in order to more fully explore the imaginings of the author's tale is an even greater value.This is how a child becomes a reader.
Play arcs and play destination messages are passed from older children to younger. Recently, we held a parent training our parent educator called, When Nothing is Everything - the Value of Free Time, and during the discussion period I asked the parents how many of them played in free-ranging groups of mixed ages where the oldest child was 8, 10, or older? Almost all of them raised their hands. When I talk about how play is passed from one child to another, I am talking about older children, 7 through 10 teaching younger children what to play.
We take a sharp departure from community helper, teacher-shaped delivery and packaged dramatic play -- that is not the scaffolding we are looking for -- and this departure takes us down a path that is not always a sunny, little place of a brick-solid house with garden. Mostly, our dramatic play is built of sticks and how fabulous is it when it holds? And falls?!?