Today we invited the children to explore with clay, straws, and beads. When working with loose parts, a facilitator sometimes has what I call a “lower case plan”. You might have a small vision for how parts could work together, but are unattached from the results or products. You want to give the children parts that can be successful in captivating their exploratory nature. In this case I knew that straws would be able to stand erect if pushed into the clay, and I chose beads with holes large enough to be threaded through straws. I knew the pieces could interact, but I was unsure what would happen when the children dug their hands in. They pressed, poked, stabbed, bent, threaded, balanced, connected, wove, and spent a long time creating some really interesting shapes.