For February 22

Eta, the Kindergarten teacher, had mentioned that she had been introduced to play dough at a workshop she attended last year. Unfortunately, the teacher never showed her students how to make it or what to do with it. So, today, I took over ingredients and showed Eta and Julet, the assistant teacher, how to make play dough. Most of the ingredients they can buy here in Marulaon, but I told Eta I would give her lots of cream of tartar and food coloring so she could continue to make it after I go back to Honiara. We had so much fun! First I made a batch (over a wood fire) while Eta and Julet watched. We gathered a crowd quickly. Then, Eta made a batch while I watched, and Julet made another batch while I watched. They had no problems and whipped up a last batch easily by themselves.

Everybody was fascinated, many asked if the play dough was to eat. I told them it wasn't for eating but that they could taste it anyway. Several were brave enough to try it, and the looks on their faces were priceless.

I forget how much we absorb as part of our culture. So many things here in Marulaon, I'm learning as a toddler would learn them for the first time. Play dough was very much part of my upbringing, and I use it with my kids all of the time. Eta asked me to show her what to do with play dough, and I was reminded that she didn't grow up playing with it. I pulled out my alphabet cookie cutters (which I will leave with her for the Kindy), and we practiced cutting out letters. I rolled snakes and made stick people, and Eta joined me while we talked about all kinds of ways to enrich stories and learning while the kids play with the dough. She is full of life and doing a great job with the kids, and it's fun to listen to her teach and sing just behind our house every morning.


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