Prompted by Facebook Post
But when I entered the Shelter's Play Care with my big bag, the kids were more interested in my bag than going outside. They helped unfold the quilt on the floor and begged to see what I'd brought. They took turns making my wooden man dance on the board. They called him Mr. Piccolo and cheered him on.
I lucked out with an incredibly sweet bunch of kids who didn't need to have their energy tamed outside. They loved it when I pulled out the silk scarves and cranked up the music. Usually I'm much more "teacher-like" with plans and rules, but these enthused kiddos needed little guidance. They were eager to perform for me, whipping and jumping and spinning with the scarves to fast music... floating and swirling with the slower sounds.
Before packing up to head out, we had one more bit of fun with the scarves. The kids put their feet together in the center of the quilt. They covered their feet first... well at least most feet got covered. Then I used extra scarves and cover the kids completely. They pretended they were all asleep until the music started and woke their feet, then their knees, then their hands... Suddenly they were all awake and on their feet, dancing with as many scarves as they could hold.
By the time I needed to pack up, my perfect little bunch made it easy. "Let's make a mountain." One little girl said. They piled one scarf on top of another. A different little girl twirled the blue and purple scarf into a ball and laid it on top. "Here's a cherry on the top!" She giggled. Then the group began folding the quilt, (with scarves inside) corner to corner, until they handed me a fat folded Triangle-Quilt.
Was it the magical weather that day? I have never had such a cooperative, happy bunch at the shelter.
What Did I Learn?
I've dealt with so many different kids at this shelter, for nearly 15 years. No matter how energetic or happy the kids seem, I'm always aware that there are worries behind all the smiles and playfulness. It was nice to learn today, that I can be with the children at the shelter and totally forget that their young lives may be complicated.
Today we played and the children were... just children!
For 20+ years children have called it the Magic Quilt. They've danced and pretended all over these colorful squares. I've dragged it to schools, shelters and studios where children have climbed on top to hear Magic Quilt Stories and to act them out.