I took my granddaughter outside the other day with a box of sidewalk chalk, wondering how long the fun would last, since she isn’t really able to draw anything yet except lines.
Soon, to her delight, she had me drawing things for her on the street. I drew all of her favorite cartoon characters, members of the family, birds, a flower, a cat, and many other items. Then she wanted me to draw stairs. What I drew looks more like a ladder, but to her, they are stairs. She spent half an hour climbing the stairs I drew, and then turning around and running back down yelling “Wheee! That funny!”.
After this I drew a store and our house, and then a driveway with our car in it. We spent the next half hour going into the store I drew, buying candy and “mac-cheese”, which in adult language is macaroni and cheese, and then taking them to our chalk-drawn house and pretending to eat them. Sometimes we would go in the make-believe car to eat the candy. I also drew footsteps and when she decides to go for a walk, we walk in the footsteps.
Every day after this, she couldn’t wait to go outside and play in this little chalk-drawn fantasy land. She stops to say hello to each of the characters and people I drew, stoops down to pet the cat I drew, goes on the stairs, and then plays going to the store to buy things and taking them home.
One night it rained quite a bit and everything was washed away. I thought she would be upset about this, but she just smiled, handed me the chalk and said “Make again!”.
With a small child’s imagination, it doesn’t take much to entertain them for hours and hours. In this case, all it took was a box of sidewalk chalk.