Thursday, September 20, 2012

Busted Bead Bottles

This morning Addie brought in a purple, sparkly necklace to share with her daycare friends. Usually we have a strict “no choking hazard” rule in the toddler area but lately everyone has been pretty good about keeping toys out of their mouth, so I decided to let them have fun with it until breakfast. 

Addie was thrilled, she proudly showed it to all of her friends saying “ See! My necklace, See! My necklace.” After everyone had a turn to see how marvelous her necklace truly was, she stuffed it into her purse and set off to play. 

Carmen (our youngest) couldn’t wait to get her hands on that beautiful sparkly thing. She lumbered around after Addie dodging all sorts of obstacles, determined to make sure Addie knew she was waiting for a turn. After about twenty minutes, Addie saw Carmen was waiting and handed it over. 

You can probably imagine what happened to that beautiful, sparkly necklace. Moments after Addie gave Carmen a turn she was saying “My beads! My beads!” I looked over to see Addie’s brow was furrowed as she hurried around in a half squat searching for the scattered beads. 

Carmen just stood there blankly staring at Addie with her tiny fist clutching the remnants of the sparkly necklace.  

I was busy getting breakfast ready so it took me a minute to realize what had happened. Carmen had pulled the necklace so hard that the beads had flown everywhere. I watched Addie for a minute before reacting. I was struck by the fact that she wasn’t mad at Carmen at all, she was only concerned about finding all of her purple, sparkly beads. 

I got down to help Addie. As I worked I said aloud to nobody in particular, “Addie is trying to find all of her beads, who can help her?” In a matter of moments all of the kids were eagerly crawling around on the floor in search of the beads. They sifted through matchbox cars, pillows, stuffed animals, pinecones and board books, delighted each time they found one.

Addie seemed to be comforted by the help.I handed her a bowl and said, “I know you’re sad that your necklace is broken but maybe we can imagine a new way to use your pretty beads.” Everyone continued the search until Addie had a nice little pile of shiny beads rolling around in her bowl. 

After all the ruckus settled, the other children returned to their previous projects, Addie sat on her knees tilting the beads back and forth smiling to herself as they shimmered in the light. 

Carmen watched then handed her the broken string and toddled off. 

Addie took it, then she walked over to where I was sitting and handed me the broken bits and said “fix it?” I studied the beads and the string with her  for a moment then I said, “I don’t think I can fix it babe, would you like a jar to put them in?”  She shook her head up and down enthusiastically. 

I set her up at a table with a tray and a glass bottle where she got right to work carefully pinching the beads to the container. When she was finished she happily shook her bottle and returned to her play. 

Everyone else wanted a turn with Addie’s busted bead bottle so we got to work making one for everyone from a necklace collection in the teacher closet.  

We practiced cutting and pulling the necklaces apart...

and we experimented with sounds of beads on wood... 
.. then we put the beads in plastic containers and taped them shut so we could watch them scatter in our shakers. 

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