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A few days before Halloween, out for a stroll with the dogs, I observed two girls–about nine years old–hard at play. Seated on a house’s front steps and using the porch as a workbench, they toiled away, surrounded by a large pumpkin, an assortment of knives, a well used skateboard, a half a roll of duct tape, a pair of scissors, six Barbies (in party clothes), a green mixing bowl, a ball of yarn, a majestic team of plastic horses, and a stack of newspaper.
As the girls shouted greetings to the dogs, I asked the obvious question: Are you building a pumpkin coach so the Barbies can get to the Prince’s Halloween Ball?
“How’d you know,” asked girl one.
“Just a guess,” I answered.
“Finding all the stuff we needed took forever,” girl two shared.
They shared a bit more about their coach building plans and asked if maybe the dogs could be convinced to pull it.
After confiding I would love to see my pups pull a pumpkin coach, I explained we had to get going and wished them luck.
I really wanted to stay, and watch, and help with the engineering, and see the final product, but mostly I didn’t want to be any more of an interruption to their play, creativity, exploration, and learning.