One of the games mine have always loved as the weather gets that little bit warmer is taking a bundle of dolls clothes, or teddy clothes out into the garden with a generous bowl of warm soapy water to wash them.
We use some little toy shopping baskets instead of the big washing basket, and I let them take out my small basket of pegs ready to hang everything out to dry.
With dolls watching patiently in their prams and pushchairs, and a handy cup of tea at the ready for me, this can turn into quite a lovely play time!
Mine love the sensory input of the water, and the bowl is easy to opt out of as and when they need to if it gets too much. I have a towel at the ready, there is usually a lot of in and out of the water.
I wanted to chat together as we played, to notice the changing colour of the water as the dirt came out of the clothes, and to talk about how the clothes are much cleaner when they have been washed.
- how do we keep our clothes clean? How do we keep our hands and bodies clean?
- what can we do to keep our ‘heart’ (our thinking, our feelings, our choices; the things that we do & think that make us who we really are) ‘clean’ (tidy and good enough to be with God)? Does our ‘heart’ need ‘cleaning’?
We always need to take lots of time and care using picture language together (our hearts needing cleaning). I still choose to use it and take the time needed because the Bible uses this language to give us glimpses into things that are so beyond our logical explanations and our imaginations that we need the pictures!
Both T & B love learning the technical terms for the different times we use language in a non-literal way. Metaphors (when something or someone is described as if it is something else because that helps us see things in a new way) , similies (when the sentence uses a comparison to show what something or someone is like – these don’t mean that the something or someone is exactly the same as what it is being compared with but some of the things that are the same help us understand the something or someone better) , idioms (a phrase that lots of people use knowing that it is not meant literally; the phrase might have begun being used for different reasons, like an event a community all know about, or a well known person’s way of doing things, or because of a rhyme or song that everyone knew. Idioms are more often than not a bit random, and my girls simply learn the cultural meanings as we come across each new phrase).
Knowing the terms has helped us approach new phrases because they give these odd and difficult phrases a structured box to safely sit in to be looked at and explored. As soon as we say, ‘it’s a metaphor’ now there is a response that shows me that there is a willingness to try to understand the phrase and what might be meant (even if there may never be an understanding of WHY someone would choose to use language that way!!). ps… this is all a work in progress!
In ‘My Easter Egg Hunt’ read about Phoebe and her Mum stopping for lunch, and finding out that Jesus makes us clean inside and out so we can talk with God.